Jayson Tatum sets Game 7 record with 51 points in Celtics’ win


Jayson Tatum scored an NBA-record 51 points in a Game 7 of the Boston Celtics’ 112-88 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday to advance to the Eastern Conference finals for the second straight year.

Two weeks ago, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry set the previous Game 7 scoring record with 50 points in a 120-100 first-round win against the Sacramento Kings.

Tatum is the first NBA player to record 50 points in the regular season, All-Star Game, and playoffs in the same season. The four-time All-Star is also the first player with 50 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists in a series-clinching win. He shot 17-of-28 from the floor and drained six 3-pointers.

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More importantly, Jayson Tatum’s legendary performance comes days after the three-time All-NBA member missed 14 of his first 15 shots in Game 6 of Boston’s 95-86 victory at Wells Fargo Center.

In Game 7, Tatum scored a much-needed 25 points in the first half, the second-most in a half by a Celtics player over the last 25 years.

The 6-foot-8 forward scored 39 points by the end of the third quarter. Plus, Sam Jones logged 47 points in Game 7 of the Celtics’ 142-131 win over the Cincinatti Royals in the 1963 Eastern Division Finals.

Other players to score 40 or more points in a winner-take-all affair include Kevin Durant (48) and Dominique Wilkins (47).

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Celtics forward Jayson Tatum now has a 50-point game in the regular season, Play-In Tournament, All-Star Game, and the playoffs

Furthermore, Tatum is the sixth player since 1997 to score at least 25 points in the first half of a Game 7. The last player was Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic, who posted 29 against the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs.

Celtics legend Paul Pierce scored 26 over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round in 2008 as well.

For his career, Jayson Tatum now has a 50-point game in the regular season, Play-In Tournament, All-Star Game, and the playoffs. Not to mention, he appeared in his sixth career Game 7, tying Jaylen Brown for the most at age 25 or younger all time.

Brown played his seventh career Game 7, tying Rajon Rondo for the most at age 26 or younger. To add to the list, center Al Horford appeared in his ninth career Game 7, tied for fourth-most in NBA history.

Moreover, Boston outscored the Sixers 33-10 in the third quarter. This was the most lopsided period in a Game 7 since at least 1997. Philadelphia’s 10 points is tied for the fewest in any Game 7 quarter in the shot clock era.

For Philadelphia, MVP Joel Embiid scored 15 points on 5-of-18 shooting. James Harden finished with just nine points on 3-of-11 shooting. Additionally, the Sixers lost in the conference semifinals for the third straight year.

The Celtics lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games of the 2022 NBA Finals. Boston will play the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals this Wednesday night at TD Garden. As long as Jayson Tatum remains healthy, the C’s can win it all.

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