The Boston Celtics are peaking at the right time.
On Saturday, they overcame an extraordinary performance by Stephen Curry to win 119-114 and extend their win streak to six. The former two-time MVP went off for 47, including 11 3-pointers, but Boston had the luxury to fall back on Tatum, who went off for 44 in the absence of Jaylen Brown.
"I hate going against him, but man do I love watching him," Brad Stevens said of Curry postgame. "You always feel like you're the next line of that fairytale."
What even is that, Steph? pic.twitter.com/kG5KsVHxAq- NBA (@NBA) April 18, 2021
Curry's game-high tally was his 10th straight of scoring at least 30, tied for the most among players above the age of 33 in NBA history. He's been particularly red-hot from beyond the arc during this streak. He's now hit 44 3-pointers in his last five games, the most in NBA history over a five-game span.
This showcase was his 20th career game of at least 10 3-pointers, three of which have come in the last four games. Who's the next best? Teammate Klay Thompson with just five.
It was his 22-point first half that had the Warriors holding their largest lead of 16 in the first half. However, the Celtics bounced back riding Tatum and Kemba Walker.
Over a six-seven-minute stretch in the middle two quarters, the Celtics went on a 28-5 run, which included this halftime buzzer-beater by Tatum, to make this game interesting once again.
AT THE 🚨 pic.twitter.com/iZHhDvf8ma- Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 18, 2021
Tatum and Walker combined for 23 of the 28 points in that run and came up huge late in crunch time as well. They scored or assisted on the team's last 22 points as Boston rallied back from six down with under four minutes left.
"Who he was tonight is who we expect him to be and who we need him to be," Tatum said of Walker postgame. Walker finished the game with 26 points - his third-highest tally this season and the most he's scored since Mar. 2
After tonight, Jayson Tatum joins Larry Bird as the only Celtics with multiple 40-point, 10-rebound games at age 23 or younger. pic.twitter.com/YBRQxQgNpt- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 18, 2021
Meanwhile, Tatum received praise not just from his teammates but also from his opponents.
"Incredible. Big boy performance," Draymond Green said of Tatum postgame. "Especially without Jaylen Brown. He stepped up and put them on his back."
The win not only marks the Celtics longest win streak of the season but also snaps the Warriors' four-game streak.
After a day's rest, Boston host the Chicago Bulls. After which they prepare themselves for three games in four days including contests against the high seeds in Phoenix Suns and the Brooklyn Nets. On the other hand, the Warriors continue their road trip to Philadelphia to face the 76ers after a day's rest.
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