Celtics' Jayson Tatum Isn't 'Thinking About' Taking the Torch from Kevin Durant

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVApril 24, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 23:  Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics hits a three pointer against Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets during Game Three of the Eastern Conference First Round NBA Playoffs at Barclays Center on April 23, 2022 in New York City.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images).
Al Bello/Getty Images

Jayson Tatum has outplayed Kevin Durant as his Boston Celtics have taken a 3-0 series lead over the Brooklyn Nets, but Tatum hasn't considered it a "passing of the torch" moment between the two stars.

"Honestly, that’s not something I’m thinking about," Tatum said, via Jared Weiss of The Athletic. "I’m certain it’s what Twitter and TV will say, but myself and all the guys in the locker room, we’re just worried about one game at a time and winning."

Tatum scored 39 points in Saturday's 109-103 win and is averaging 29.7 points in the series. Durant had just 16 in the latest loss and is shooting just 36.5 percent from the field in the series, averaging 22.0 points per game.

Durant is also shooting just 2-of-15 with 10 turnovers while guarded by Tatum this series, per Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports. 

Former Celtics star Paul Pierce discussed how the matchup is affecting their outlook:

Paul Pierce @paulpierce34

I think Jason Tatum maybe surpassing Kevin Durant right before our eyes in the NBA hierarchy

Tatum is still thinking more about the team than his battle with one of the best players in the NBA.

"I'm not trying to make it a one-on-one thing or a matchup thing," the forward said.

This mindset could help Tatum and the Celtics make a deep run this postseason.