Jayson Tatum had himself a night against the San Antonio Spurs.
Friday night’s (Apr.30) game between the Spurs and Celtics had the making of one of those games that you totally change the channel and watch something else if you’re a Celtics fan. The Celtics were getting washed so badly by the Spurs that Celtics head coach Brad Steven’s own daughter had seen enough and decided to leave the game early.
Speaking on that moment after the game, Steven’s said, “I would have left at halftime. I know my daughter left at halftime. She’s got stuff to do tomorrow. There was no reason to stay.”
But for those who held onto hope and stuck around, you were mightily rewarded and not only witnessed one of the greatest comebacks in NBA history but also a scoring display that put Jayson Tatum in elite company as a member of the Boston Celtics.
After trailing 32 points in the first half, a deficit that is almost insurmountable in most cases, the Celtics went on an unbelievable rally in the second half, eventually edging out the Spurs 143-140 in an overtime victory. Boston’s improbable win was the biggest comeback by an NBA team in over a decade since the Sacramento Kings overcame a 35 point deficit to beat the Chicago Bulls in 2009 and is the third-biggest in the past 25 years.
But believe it or not, the comeback is not what people are talking about. It’s Jayson Tatum’s performance that is taking center stage. Tatum’s 60-point performance put him in elite company. He is now tied with Larry Bird for the Celtics’ all-time single-game scoring mark. Tatum is also now the second-youngest player to score 60 behind Phoenix Suns Devin Booker, who dropped 70 points at the ripe age of 20.
Following the game, Tatum celebrated the moment with his son Deuce and gave him the game ball.
“It was a special night,” Tatum said, speaking on his historic night. “Just being around guys, playing with guys you enjoy being around and are happy for your success … we all see the hard work each and every one of us put in every day so that when someone, myself or whoever it is, has a night like that, just to share that moment with them is special. Just to have your teammates be happy for you means everything.”
Tatum has had a hell of a year, to say the least. Despite balling out, Tatum was one of the millions of Americans who caught COVID-19, and after dealing with the virus, now has to use an asthma pump before he plays. A chilling sign that COVID-19 does, in fact, affect younger healthy adults as well.
The sports world and social media reacted to Tatum’s stellar performance, as expected.
You can peep more reactions to Tatum’s 60-clip in the gallery below.
NBA Twitter Reacts To Jayson Tatum Scoring 60 Points
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Jayson Tatum is special pic.twitter.com/PxIwuvHTck— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) May 1, 2021
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"Your daddy is a BAD MAN."— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) May 1, 2021
Wholesome moment after Jayson Tatum drops 60 💚pic.twitter.com/JmnbbEeUO8
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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!!!— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) May 1, 2021
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Jayson Tatum is a superstar.— sigh (@CullerSports) May 1, 2021
Been trying to tell y’all forever. pic.twitter.com/BXAZPQ7zJU
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Jayson Tatum put the team on his back tonight— Ahmed/Lakers stink🇸🇴 (@big_business_) May 1, 2021
masterclass performance man
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“I said I was going to do it again while Deuce is here. I think that was the most special part."— Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_) May 1, 2021
Jayson Tatum on his 60-point night, tying Larry Bird, how the Celtics came back from 32 down, and the team's playoff potential. pic.twitter.com/OPB9nxerKb
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Jayson Tatum played the entire fourth quarter and the whole overtime. That's 17 minutes.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) May 1, 2021
In those 17 minutes he scored 31 points. 21 points in the fourth and 10 points in overtime.
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Instantly one of my favorite Celtics games ever. Jayson Tatum is God.— Xanny DeVito (@trevorstweetss) May 1, 2021
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Jaylen Brown on Jayson Tatum: "That boy is destined for greatness."— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) May 1, 2021
Photo: Maddie Malhotra / Getty