Each of the 4,789 fans who entered TD Garden on Friday night prepared to boo Kyrie Irving until their voices became hoarse. In the playoffs, the same fans did something completely different from when they left: Borrowing the name of Jayson Tatum, Tatum scored 50 points for the second consecutive game in this building, averaging 50 points per game. He had 6 rebounds and 7 assists in 41 minutes.
This is enough to surpass former teammate Irving and former Brooklyn MVP Kevin Durant and James Harden to return the Celtics to the series. Consider that Tatum has scored 50 points at least four times in two months, even though he has never done so. At the end of his four-year NBA career, maybe you can honestly say that it was just “one of those nights” and believe it.
But few players can say that they can compete with Harden and Durant.. Tatum did this, including a shot that allowed him to score 50 points and a jumper over Durant with 41.8 seconds left in the game, giving Boston a 7-point lead, almost guaranteeing that the Celtics would return to their winning streak. After the game, the focus was on Tatum’s performance and Irving’s performance before the game. After leaving the Celtics two years ago and switching to free agency, Irving first appeared in Boston and the fans in this building.
From a little more than eight minutes before the game to Friday night, he was on the field and immediately received loud chorus boos from thousands of fans, which was part of the 25-minute chance at TD Garden before the 4th game on Sunday. Brooklyn will have a chance to get better on Sunday night and have a chance to regain control of the show, but due to Tatum’s battle with Brooklyn Constellation, Boston has at least one better night.