Jayson Tatum Makes Celtics Playoff History In Ugly Game 6 Vs. 76ers

'Hopefully that was a one-time thing'


May 11, 2023

Jayson Tatum was merely a shade of himself in a do-or-die Game 6 for the Boston Celtics, but when called upon, he showed up, making some all-time franchise history in the process against the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night.

Again, Tatum began the night far from his No. 1 form that reeled in some convincing MVP chit-chat in the first half of the regular season, shooting a putrid 1-for-14 through the first three quarters, making for a theatrical final frame. And with the season on the line, and the Sixers near striking distance of a conference finals appearance, Tatum delivered.

The 25-year-old All-Star didn’t only make up for his lackluster start, he outperformed Philadelphia collectively. Tatum scored 16 points, shooting 4-for-8 from the field, including 4-for-5 from the outside. Meanwhile, the 76ers scored 13 points, shooting 5-for-20, empty on eight 3-point attempts as the C’s retake some much-needed momentum.

In finishing with 19 points, Tatum moved up to second all-time in playoff points scored in Celtics history, surpassing Ray Allen (206 points) with 207 points, now 12 shy of Paul Pierce for the lead, according to NBA History.

Ironically, Tatum’s awful shooting start was the worst start to a playoff game, also surpassing Allen, who began 0-for-13 in Game 3 of the 2010 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers, according to ESPN Stats & Info. Afterward, Tatum’s spring of confidence in Game 6 even carried onto his on-court interview at Wells Fargo Center.

Now able to laugh off swerving away from a disastrous end to Boston’s season, Tatum ensured that he has no intentions of replicating one of the worst performances of his career with Banner 18 still within reach for the Celtics.

“I don’t wanna do that (expletive) again,” Tatum told reporters, as seen on NBC Sports Boston’s postgame coverage. “Hopefully that was a one-time thing. Hopefully, I start off better, things like that (in Game 7). … I’m excited to go back and kind of like redeem ourselves in front of our home crowd. I’m excited to see them. I know the buildings gonna be rocking.”

Most importantly, the Celtics notched a 95-86 victory, forcing their Eastern Conference semifinals series to a Game 7 on Sunday in Boston.

Thumbnail photo via Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports Images
Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart and center Robert Williams III and Philadelphia 76ers center Paul Reed
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