The Boston Celtics have been in freefall lately. A seven-game losing streak has many fans scratching their heads. The overall record of the team this season has many scratching their heads. Last night’s overtime thriller against the Minnesota Timberwolves woke up a lot of fans though, especially with Jayson Tatum dropping a career-high 53 points.
Right now, the Celtics are sitting at 7th in the Eastern Conference, but it isn’t all bad news. Only 1.0 game separates 7th and 4th place. Being behind teams like the Hornets and Hawks probably wasn’t in the plans for the Celtics this season. They would prefer to be a top-4 seed, as would many fans. Perhaps the performance from Tatum will energize the team for the rest of the season.
Tatum hit 16-25 field goals, including 6-10 from three. Like a lot of high-scoring performances, he earned a good portion of his points from the free-throw line. He connected on all but one shot from the line, finishing 15-16 on the night. Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart had 26 and 24 each respectively and were still outscored by Tatum. After battling back from a double-digit deficit, the Celtics found themselves up as regulation came to an end.
Jaylen Brown giving Jayson Tatum the points here is my favorite moment of the night. pic.twitter.com/Q6TlWD4ESi
— Marc D’Amico (@Marc_DAmico) April 10, 2021
Tatum got it done all over the court. Down low and from beyond the line. His 50th point came on a cut to the basket and a nifty pass from Robert Williams. It wasn’t just a historical night for the Celtics’ forward personally, it was so for the whole organization. Tatum became the youngest Celtic to score 50+ points and posted the third-highest single-game point total in the history of the organization. He also became the first Celtic to score 53 points since Larry Bird put up 60 points on March 12, 1985. Kevin McHale is the only other player besides Bird ahead of Tatum on the single-game scoring list.
Jaylen Brown gave props to his teammate on social media the day after.
— Jaylen Brown (@FCHWPO) April 10, 2021
Although the Timberwolves are at the bottom of the NBA this season in terms of the team record, this game could be used as motivation moving forward. The Celtics need to get right and get ready before the 2021 NBA Playoffs get going. They need to make sure they can secure their spot, and avoid the play-in tournament.