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Jayson Tatum Hyped by NBA Twitter For Dropping 41 in Celtics' Win vs. Giannis, Bucks

Doric SamDecember 26, 2022

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - DECEMBER 25: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics attempts a dunk against the Milwaukee Bucks during the second quarter at the TD Garden on December 25, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. 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 Brian Fluharty/Getty Images)
Brian Fluharty/Getty Images

This year's marquee Christmas Day matchup pitted two NBA MVP candidates against each other as Jayson Tatum's Boston Celtics welcomed Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks to town.

In the end, Tatum asserted himself as the favorite to take home some hardware at season's end with a 41-point outburst to lead the Celtics to a 139-118 win in front of an excited home crowd at TD Garden. He out-dueled Antetokounmpo, who finished with 27 points but struggled to find a rhythm, shooting 9-of-22 from the field.

Tatum has now scored over 30 points in five straight games and topped the 40-point mark three times in that span. He scored 20 points in the third quarter alone on Sunday, and he added seven rebounds, five assists and three steals to stuff the stat sheet. The 24-year-old is now the first player to score over 40 points in a Christmas Day game since 2018.

NBA Twitter erupted with praise for Tatum's dominance on Sunday, with many touting him as the leading MVP candidate:

Trevor Hass @TrevorHass

Jayson Tatum is playing at such a high level right now that a 20-point quarter doesn't seem like anything out of the ordinary. Impressive yes, but not at all shocking.

Michael Pina @MichaelVPina

jayson tatum really wants that mvp

StatMuse @statmuse

Jayson Tatum today:<br><br>41 PTS<br>7 REB<br>5 AST<br>3 STL<br><br>First 40-point game on Christmas by any player since 2018. <a href="https://t.co/xy5P1F9Kjp">pic.twitter.com/xy5P1F9Kjp</a>

Dan Greenberg @StoolGreenie

JAYSON TATUM IS JAYSON TATUMING

Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA

Jayson Tatum is Tatuming.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

JAYSON TATUM POSTER ON GIANNIS 😱<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/NBA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NBA</a>)<a href="https://t.co/X5RpjuQyVL">pic.twitter.com/X5RpjuQyVL</a>

theScore @theScore

Jayson Tatum finishes the 3rd quarter with 39 points... <a href="https://t.co/ShpXwNaHNi">pic.twitter.com/ShpXwNaHNi</a>

Darren Hartwell @darren_hartwell

Third quarter:<br><br>Jayson Tatum: 20 points (7 for 10)<br>Bucks: 25 points (8 for 22)

Jared Weiss @JaredWeissNBA

23 points for Jaylen Brown in the 4th quarter Friday. <br>20 points for Jayson Tatum in the 3rd quarter today.

Jay King @ByJayKing

That was a monster third quarter by Jayson Tatum.

Steve Perrault @Steve_Perrault

Jayson Tatum is a baaaaaaaaaaaad man

Marc D'Amico @Marc_DAmico

Thus far in today's Race for the MVP, Jayson Tatum (35 points) has more than doubled up Giannis Antetokounmpo (16 points) in the scoring column.

Zeke @ZekeTelemaco

Jayson Tatum is unstoppable

Shake4ndbake @ItsShake4ndbake

Tatum cooking up 🔥🔥🔥

Nekias (Nuh-KY-us) Duncan @NekiasNBA

Tatum's playing an entirely different sport right now

Amina Smith @aminajadeTV

Tatum trying to prove a point in the national spotlight with another MVP candidate in the building and I'm here for it. JT has 20pts...in the QUARTER. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BleedGreen?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BleedGreen</a>

Ahmed/The Ears/Glorilla's Assistant 🇸🇴 @big_business_

Let Jayson Tatum cook

Tatum made a statement with his performance, establishing the Celtics as the clear top team in the Eastern Conference. Boston owns the best record in the NBA at 24-10, and the team looks ready to make another trip to the NBA Finals.

Tatum and the Celtics will go for their third straight win when they host the Houston Rockets (9-23) on Tuesday.