Even on an off shooting night, Jayson Tatum was confident he would come up clutch for the Celtics when it mattered most.
With Saturday night’s Boston-Philadelphia matchup deadlocked at 107-107 and less than six seconds to play at Wells Fargo Center, Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla decided to put the basketball in Tatum’s hands. And Tatum, who owned a 6-for-16 shooting clip going into Boston’s final possession, delivered with all the chips on the table. The 2022-23 NBA MVP candidate knocked down a go-ahead 3-pointer to give Boston its sixth victory in its last seven games.
After the game, Tatum revealed the vow he made to Celtics teammate Grant Williams before his big shot.
“Coming out of that timeout I told Grant, I said, ‘It’s game.’ I told him, ‘It’s game time. We’re going home,'” Tatum told reporters, per a video shared by the NBA. “I knew it had been a tough night, but it was a perfect story, right? Tied game, five seconds left. I hadn’t been shooting well, came through for the guys when it mattered the most.”
Tatum’s clutch bucket was close to being an afterthought due to Joel Embiid’s insane 70-footer on the game’s final play. But fortunately for the All-Star forward and the Celtics, the Philadelphia big man wasn’t able to get the basketball out of his hand in time.