Jayson Tatum became the youngest player in Boston Celtics history to post at least 50 points in a game on Friday with 53 in a 145-136 overtime victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Tatum's final line on the night: 16-of-25 FG, 6-of-10 3PT, 15-16 FT, 10 rebounds, four assists and 53 points.
The outburst comes two nights after Tatum dropped 25 points in a 101-99 victory over the New York Knicks. Boston has now won four of its last five and is a half-game back of the Miami Heat for the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Before Friday, Tatum hadn't scored more than 30 points since a 34-point outburst against the New Orleans Pelicans on March 29. That game ended in a six-point loss for Boston. Friday's result was much more preferred.
"He's a very special talent," Celtics guard Payton Pritchard said after the game. "A rare breed type of player. I expect many more nights like this and when the night is going like this you've got to give him the ball and get out of the way."
That game plan certainly came to life late in the game as Tatum's aggressiveness allowed him to continually get to the line. The 16 free throws Tatum attempted marked a season-high for the small forward.
His 15 makes from the stripe also marked a season high.
Tatum only seemed to struggle from the right side of the floor against the T-Wolves. He missed five of his field goal attempts all from the right wing after looking unconscious from everywhere else on the court.
That should give him something to work on as Tatum looks to build on his career outing and help the Celtics avoid the postseason play-in tournament by capturing a top six seed in the conference.