Jayson Tatum made history by scoring the 60 points that led to the Celtics’ 143-140 victory over the Spurs. The denouement came in overtime and after the Celtics rallied for 32 points. Tatum equals the all-time record held by Shamrock legend Larry Bird in a celebrated game on March 12, 1985 against the Atlanta Hawks.
It was the biggest comeback by a team since the Sacramento Kings managed to turn a scoreboard in which they lost by 35 points to the Chicago Bulls in 2009. And it was also the third most bulky comeback in the last 25 years, only surpassed for the Kings and the Utah Jazz, who beat Denver in November 1996 after overcoming a 36 deficit.
Tatum scored 31 of 60 points between the fourth quarter and overtime. “It has been a special night,” he said. “I am happy for my colleagues and for the work we do. Sharing something like this with them is special, it means everything ”. Tatum, 23, made 20 baskets of 37 shots from the field, including five triples and 15 free throws. He also had 8 rebounds and 5 assists.
The Spurs had scored 70% of their shots in the first half, came to command 39-16 and at the break they dominated 77-48. The San Antonio team was unable to stop Tatum and succumbed despite DeRozan’s 30 points and 14 assists and Murray’s 24 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists. “That boy is destined for greatness. He has led us and led us to victory ”, praised Tatum his teammate Jaylen Brown, who was not very inspired with 17 points but with a series of 5 of 24 in shots from the field. However, Brown scored a very important triple with only 16 seconds remaining and put his team ahead: 139-137. Tatum increased the rent from the free throw line, Patty Mills again narrowed the score with a triple that made it 141-140 on the scoreboard. And Tatum, again from the free throw line, established the final 143-140 with four seconds left. Also highlighted was 21-year-old rookie guard Aaron Nesmith, who played his best game and finished with 16 points and 6 rebounds.
Tatum could have decided the match at regular match time. He scored a triple with 38 seconds to go that put his team ahead on the scoreboard for the first time since the opening bars: 127-126. Shortly after, he made one of two free throws he took after being fouled by DeRozan. But with 10 seconds to go, it was the Spurs forward who was fouled and made the two free throws that tied the game at 128. Jayson Tatum missed a free throw on the horn. “If he had, he couldn’t have matched Bird’s record. Maybe it was part of the plan, “joked Brad Stevens. The best scoring this season was scored by Stephen Curry with the 62 points that helped his team, Golden State, win against Portland on January 3. Bradley Beal scored 60 points in a game his team, Washington, lost to the Sixers. Tatum now matches Beal’s record.
The other news of the day was the reappearance of LeBron James who had not played since March 20 due to an injury. The star couldn’t avoid the Lakers’ 106-110 loss to the Kings. LeBron added 16 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists. LeBron, with a sprained ankle in his right leg, missed 20 games. It is the longest period of absence throughout his career that began in the 2003-2004 season. “For my first game in six weeks, I have felt quite good. It’s a good start, ”James explained.
Marc Gasol played 8 minutes and contributed 5 points and 3 rebounds. Anthony Davis was the most prominent with 22 points and 11 rebounds. The Lakers add 36 wins and 27 losses and are fifth in the Western Conference standings. Dallas Mavericks are sixth and Portland seventh, both with 35 wins, just one less than the Lakers. This season the teams that qualify between seventh and tenth place must play a tie called play-in to determine the last two classifieds for the playoffs. In the Eastern Conference, the Celtics rank sixth with 34 wins, just one more than Miamie Heat, seventh.