Tatum 51 points against 76ers sends Celtic to final

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Jayson Tatum’s 51 points against the Philadelphia 76ers help send Celtics back to Eastern Conference Finals.

Celtics player Jayson Tatum scored 51 points against the Philadelphia 76ers as his side earn themselves a place in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Tatum broke the record set two weeks ago by Stephen Curry, who scored 50 points in Game 7 of the Golden State Warriors’ first-round series against the Sacramento Kings.

After struggling through one of the worst shooting nights of his career in Game 6, Tatum responded with one of the best performances in franchise history.

Before the game, Tatum called Sunday a chance for the Celtics to redeem themselves after getting routed in their last game in Boston. Tatum had a dreadful start to Game 6, shooting 1-for-13 through the first three quarters before getting hot late.

“I was really excited just for the moment, to be able to come out and play today,” Tatum said after Sunday’s game. “It definitely was on my mind that I had played as bad as it could get for 42, 43 minutes. We have a saying, ‘It’s only up from here.'”

It was clear he was ready to respond from the beginning of Game 7. Tatum scored 25 points in the first half after scoring 18 points in the first half of Games 4, 5 and 6 combined.

“Going into Game 6 — it sounds crazy, I was too locked in,” Tatum said. “I was too tight. I was too in my own head thinking about what I need to do. How many points I need to score. It’s a big moment.

“And today I was more myself. Pregame, I was relaxed, laughing, joking. That’s when I play my best, when I’m having fun. I just tried not to think about the pressure, what everybody is going to say. Just focus on the game and having fun.”


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