Jayson Tatum Makes Strong Declaration Following Clutch Game 6 Finish

'I'm one of the best basketball players in the world'


May 11, 2023

It looked as though Jayson Tatum was going to have a long summer through the first 36 minutes of the Boston Celtics’ matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night.

Then, the flip was switched.

Tatum, who shot 1-for-13 in the first three quarters, exploded for 16 points on 4-for-5 shooting from three-point range in the fourth quarter, leading the Celtics to a huge Game 6 win over the 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. The final frame was a complete 180 from what he had done offensively to that point, with those 12 minutes showing exactly why Tatum is considered one of the best players in the NBA.

Don’t believe us? Listen to the man himself.

“Humbly, I’m one of the best basketball players in the world,” Tatum told ESPN’s Cassidy Hubbarth following the win, as seen on the network’s postgame coverage. “I go through struggles. I go through slumps. It’s a long game, and thankfully I’ve got some great teammates that held it down.

“… They all trusted me. They tell me, ‘Keep taking great looks. It’s going to fall. Keep impacting the game in other ways.’ All that matters was that we won this game. We gave ourselves another chance to go back home for a Game 7.”

The fourth-quarter surge helped Tatum not only finish with a fairly solid line, but make NBA postseason history. The 25-year-old became the first NBA player in the last 20 years to have three or fewer points through three quarters of a playoff game and then proceed to outscore the entire opposing team in the fourth quarter, according to OptaStats.

Tatum had 19 points, nine rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks in the win, but was carried along by those teammates that kept him motivated through early struggles. Marcus Smart had perhaps his best game of the season, impacting the game on both ends and finishing with a team-high 22 points, seven assists and two steals. Malcolm Brogdon knocked down 4-of-6 shots from beyond the arc. Robert Williams III, in his return to the starting lineup, was a game-high plus-18 in 22 minutes, finishing with 10 points, nine rebounds and two blocks.

It was a complete effort that helped push the Celtics one step closer to a berth in the Eastern Conference finals.

“It’s Game 7,” Tatum said. “It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Thumbnail photo via Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports Images
Boston Bruins defensemen Hampus Lindholm and Charlie McAvoy
Previous Article

Did These Bruins Defensemen Get Snubbed In Norris Trophy Voting?

Boston Celtics stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown
Next Article

Joe Mazzulla Had Simple Message For Celtics Star Jayson Tatum In Game 6 Win

Picked For You