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Celtics' Jayson Tatum Drops Career-High 60 Points in OT Comeback Win vs. Spurs

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 1, 2021

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) competes for a loose ball with San Antonio Spurs forward Keldon Johnson, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, April 30, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Elise Amendola/Associated Press

Good luck slowing down Jayson Tatum.  

The Boston Celtics star went off on Friday night, scoring a career-high 60 points in the team's 143-140 overtime win over the San Antonio Spurs

Tatum finished 20-of-37 from the field, 5-of-7 from three, 15-of-17 from the charity stripe and added eight rebounds, five assists and a block. Tatum's huge performance not only tied NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird for the franchise record for points in a game, it also helped to erase a 32-point deficit. 

NBA @NBA

🚨 JAYSON TATUM TIES THE @CELTICS RECORD WITH 60 POINTS! 🚨 The @celtics win in OT after trailing by 32! 🤯 https://t.co/UXkbvOGdZo

Kendrick Perkins @KendrickPerkins

The Celtics were down 32 points to the Spurs and Jayson Tatum went dumb!!! I mean he got DEEP into his bag tonight and put on a SPECIAL performance on the offense end dropping a 60 piece wing dinner Cajun Rub style Extra Spicy! God Bless America!!!

Chris Herring @Herring_NBA

Tatum's really out here just putting down 60

Donovan Mitchell @spidadmitchell

BE SPECIAL THEN BRO! @jaytatum0 😳🔥

"I'm proud of our resiliency, our resolve, our togetherness, our willingness to put aside what happened in the first half," head coach Brad Stevens told reporters after the game. "We showed that we weren't gonna go away."

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

Tatum's 60 points cause the Spurs to blow their largest halftime lead in franchise history 😳 https://t.co/mrLgSagX5q

Tatum did the heavy lifting in the win and then some, though he wasn't alone. Aaron Nesmith scored 16 points and added six rebounds off the bench. Jaylen Brown put up 17 points (albeit on a woeful 5-of-24 night from the field) and hit a crucial three in overtime. 

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

JAYLEN BROWN. CLUTCH. https://t.co/044VYSoNkP

But the night belonged to Tatum. This man was in his bag. 

Boston Celtics @celtics

𝑨𝑻𝑻𝑨𝑪𝑲 𝑴𝑶𝑫𝑬 https://t.co/sINQdkeS9v

Boston Celtics @celtics

JT FOR THE LEAD https://t.co/hPFMsWjmjB

Boston Celtics @celtics

😤 @jaytatum0 😤 https://t.co/QYhS6jPFCC

Boston Celtics @celtics

Simply on another level. https://t.co/jI4uuW73hJ

It's the second game in April with 50 or more points for Tatum, who also put up 53 in an April 9 overtime win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. He now has four games with 40 or more points this season, with three of them coming in the past three weeks. 

It's been a strange season for the Celtics, who by all measures have underachieved and sit at 34-30 in the Eastern Conference, currently holding the 6-seed. But there's little doubt that Tatum is one of the game's ascending young stars. 

Or as Brown told reporters after the game, "That boy is destined for greatness."