The Boston Celtics continue to aim for the East’s second-best record as the team took care of Utah, winning 114-103 on Wednesday night. Boston is now only a game behind the East’s current second, defending champions Toronto Raptors, thanks in large part to first-time All-Star Jayson Tatum.
The young forward put up an efficient 33 points, chipping in 11 rebounds as well. The game marked his third straight 30+ point game, all while shooting 60% from the field. The last Celtics player to have achieved such volume and efficiency in three consecutive games was seven-time NBA All-Star Kevin McHale, back in March 1987.
Jayson Tatum has recorded 3 straight 30+ point games and shot 60% from the field or better in all three. The last @celtics player to do this was Kevin McHale (3 straight) in March 1987. @EliasSports pic.twitter.com/IjjKMo2SnJ
— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) February 27, 2020
Tatum received his first All-Star selection this season, during only his third year in the NBA. The former third overall pick is averaging career-highs with 23.1 points and 6.9 rebounds, and is notably stepping up following fellow Celtics All-Star Kemba Walker’s absences due to injury. Wednesday’s matchup also saw backup point guard Marcus Smart further filling in the void, putting up 17 points and 9 assists. Moreover, Boston guard Jaylen Brown contributed 20 points in the winning effort.
On the other hand, first-time All-Star Donovan Mitchell also led his team with 37 points. However, with Utah garnering more consecutive losses than wins lately, the team is now in danger of dropping the sixth spot to the Dallas Mavericks.
Boston, on the other hand, have won eight of their last ten games. Throughout this span, Tatum has scored an average of 30.3 points. He has a chance to continue his stellar play on Saturday when they play the Houston Rockets, who are notably on a five-game winning streak.