Celtics' Jayson Tatum Says Threat of Season Ending Motivated Him in 46-Point Game 6

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIMay 14, 2022

MILWAUKEE, WI - MAY 13: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics looks on during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks during Game 6 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals on May 13, 2022 at the Fiserv Forum Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images).
Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images

Jayson Tatum willed the Boston Celtics to a 108-95 win over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Friday at Fiserv Forum with 46 points on 17-of-32 shooting.

After the game, Tatum spoke with reporters about the motivation behind his masterpiece:

"Knowing that if we lost our season would be over with. You know, I was excited to play today. Game 6. This was, like, a big moment for all of us, for, you know, myself and the team, how we'd respond. You know, losing Game 5 was gonna make us or break us. And I think we showed a lot of toughness and growth, coming out here and getting the win on the road and just, you know, giving ourselves a chance."

Tatum scored 16 of his 46 points in the fourth quarter, including 11 straight.

It was an incredible performance after the Celtics lost a 110-107 Game 5 heartbreaker in which they blew a 14-point fourth-quarter lead at home.

But the Bucks have fought hard in their own right sans Khris Middleton (sprained MCL). Giannis Antetokounmpo has been stellar, averaging 35.3 points per game and scoring 44 in Game 6.

Game 7 has the makings of a classic. The action will take place at Boston's TD Garden on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET.