Jayson Tatum ‘Wanted The Moment’ With Clutch Shot Over LeBron James

Tatum hit the shot of the night to force OT


December 14, 2022

Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum didn’t shy away from what was in front of him in the final seconds of regulation Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Lakers.

With the Celtics trying to respond after a 20-point collapse and needing a bucket to send the game to overtime, Tatum found himself face-to-face with LeBron James and met the challenge head-on.

Tatum won that one-on-one battle in spectacular fashion by delivering not only the shot of the night in a thrilling 122-118 overtime win over the Lakers at Crypto.com Arena, but a sizable moment so far in Boston’s sensational season.

From the right wing, Tatum drove baseline on James before stopping, spinning and releasing a turnaround, fadeaway jumper over the 18-time All-Star and the shot hit nothing but net to level the score, 110-110, with 17.1 seconds remaining.

It was an incredible individual effort by Tatum as part of his 44-point outing, and even-keeled Celtics interim head coach Joe Mazzulla couldn’t deny Tatum’s greatness in that situation.

“I saw us be organized. We knew exactly what we wanted to do. We had two timeouts, 28 seconds left. And I saw a great player make a great shot. And a guy that wanted the moment,” Mazzulla told reporters, as seen on NBC Sports Boston postgame coverage. “I thought that sparked (us) for overtime, him embracing that moment. Our team fed off of that. Our team embraced the moment for the rest of overtime.”

The stellar shot from Tatum was part of a 29-12 run the Celtics used to close out the game.

After two straight losses which featured underwhelming performances from Boston and some doubts starting to creep in about the Celtics star, it seemed as though Tatum sensed the Celtics really needed to finish off their six-game road trip on a strong note and completely seized the opportunity in front of him.

“We found a way and we needed that, man,” Tatum said during in on-court interview with TNT’s Chris Haynes. “Losing two in a row, haven’t been playing the best individually and as a team, but find a way to get back on track. That felt good.”

Thumbnail photo via Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports Images
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum
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