Both Jayson Tatum and Zach LaVine scored 50+points in their respective games this Friday, making this night one of the most interesting since the start of the year.
Tatum Passes Bird, Becomes the Youngest Celtic with 50 Points
The Boston Celtics had to go through overtime to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves, 145-136, and if it weren’t for fantastic Tatum, things would undoubtedly be different.
Arguably the biggest talent in the league dropped 53 points, having the game of his life. He would become the youngest Celtics player in history to reach 50 points, passing the legendary Larry Bird atop the list, who did the same three years after Tatum.
The last time one Celtic player delivered at least 50 points was almost four years ago, once Isaiah Thomas scored 53 points against the Wizards in the East Finals.
In 41 minutes on the court, Tatum made 16 of his 25 field goal attempts, sinking six threes in 10 tries, and missing just one of 16 free throws. The young forward also secured ten rebounds and four assists with a block.
The Cs had a lot of trouble in this match, being down 17 points during the third period, having to come back and claw their way out of the hole.
Boston is in a tough position, having 27 wins and 26 losses, being on the verge of the playoffs. They are one of the biggest disappointments of the year so far, with performances way under the expected level. Tatum and Jaylen Brown are the only two bright spots in the entire team, leading the rest of the crew and pretty much-doing everything on their own.
The Celtics will play the next three games on the road against the Nuggets, Trail Blazers, and the Lakers.
LaVine’s Superb First Half, His Bulls Lose
The two-time NBA Slam Dunk Contest winner dropped 39 points in the first half, during which he made seven threes in nine attempts. Eventually, LaVine finished the night with 50 points, but his Bulls lost in Atlanta against the Hawks, 120-108.
This defeat snapped a three-game winning streak of the Bulls, who managed to beat the Nets, Pacers, and the Raptors during that stretch.
LaVine was unstoppable in the first two periods, becoming the first player since Michael Jordan to drop 30+points in the opening half. Still, the Hawks found a way to slow him down in the other two sequences, during which the Bulls’ guard netted just 11 buckets, committing a few turnovers in the essential moments of the match.
In 39 minutes of play, LaVine had 50 points, 18-for-31, 7-for-12 from deep, eight rebounds, and five assists. His slowdown in the second wasn’t the only reason for Chicago’s defeat. Atalanta had Trae Young, who had 42 buckets, and two more players with 20+points, Clint Capela 22 and Danilo Gallinari 20.
The Bulls are now 22-29, sitting 10th in the East, on the last position that leads to the play-in tournament. They have a 2.5-game edge compared to the Raptors, who are one place behind and are 4.5 games behind the Miami Heat on the sixth place, the one that leads to the playoffs directly.