Kemba Walker: Jayson Tatum Was 'Best Player on the Court' in Win over Clippers

Blake SchusterContributor IIIFebruary 14, 2020

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - FEBRUARY 13: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics celebrates during the game against the LA Clippers  at TD Garden on February 13, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeat the Clippers in double overtime 141-133. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker had some extremely high praise for teammate Jayson Tatum following a double-overtime victory against the Los Angeles Clippers.

"He was the best player on the court tonight," Walker told the media after the 141-133 win. 

On a night when Paul George left early with an injury, Kawhi Leonard posted 28 points and 11 rebounds and Lou Willams scored 35 on his own, it was Tatum who impressed the most. 

The power forward carved up the Clips to the tune of 39 points, nine rebounds, one block and one steal. Tatum scored 10 of his points in the two extra frames and helped the Celtics pick up a massive victory over a fellow title contender in the process. 

The third-year big man out of Duke sure picked a good time to catch fire. He enters the All-Star break looking to defend his Skills Competition title from 2019. 

His performance on Thursday, however, was a bit more meaningful. It's just the third time all season he's scored 39 or more points. In the process, Tatum shot 14-of-23 from the floor while drilling 5-of-10 from behind the arc. There was not one part of the floor Tatum wasn't able to score from on Thursday. He knocked down jumpers from deep and posted up with the same amount of ease, spreading his offense across both wings and even finding mid-range success at the top of the key. 

To do so on a night when shooting guard Jaylen Brown sat out with a calf injury is even more impressive.

Most importantly for Boston, the Celtics are now just 1.5 games back of the Toronto Raptors for first place in the Atlantic division. That number would be even smaller if not for the 15-game win streak the Raps took over the last few weeks. 

Boston is 8-2 over its last 10 games and Tatum is reaching new heights as a go-to option on offense. 

As the Celtics look for a strong start after the All-Star break, having its power forward continue to push his game will only make Boston more dangerous down the stretch.

 

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