The Celtics kicked off their 2022-23 season on a high note, and it was Boston’s two best players who led the way.
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown both scored 35 points in the Celtics’ 126-117 win over the Philadelphia 76ers at TD Garden on Tuesday night. As the official NBA History Twitter account pointed out after the game, it marked the first time a pair of teammates each scored 35-plus points in a season opener since Basketball Hall of Famers Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West did so for the Los Angeles Lakers all the way back in 1969.
In a superstar-driven league like the NBA, the onus is on upper-echelon players like Tatum and Brown to perform at a very high level on a game-by-game basis. But in wake of the Ime Udoka scandal and the emergence of a young, first-time head coach in Boston, the pressure on the Celtics’ franchise cornerstones has been raised. Tuesday night’s performances couldn’t have been any more encouraging, though, and former Boston big man Kendrick Perkins believes Tatum and Brown won’t have any issues shouldering more expectations.
“It’s pretty much understood that in order for the Cs to survive the Coach Udoka soap opera, it’s up to the 2 J’s to hold it down,” Perkins tweeted. “From the look of things tonight, they might have the situation under control! Carry on…”
Tatum and Brown will try to keep it rolling Friday night when Boston visits the Miami Heat, who the Celtics knocked off in the Eastern Conference finals last season.