Jayson Tatum's Top 5 Performances from the 2020-21 Season

Jayson Tatum’s 19-point, seven-rebound Olympic gold medal-winning performance on Saturday morning was one of many great achievements for the 23-year-old wing over the past year. And so, we thought that this was as good of a time as any to celebrate some of his biggest moments of late.

In the months leading up to his Olympic journey, Tatum put forth some of the most impressive individual efforts in Celtics history. We have highlighted five of those performances from the past season below, all of which helped him to build upon his rising superstar status.


5. April 17 vs. Golden State

MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A +/- OREB DREB REB AST PF ST TO BS PTS
39:50 16-25 5-9 7-8 +12 0 10 10 3 2 2 2 0 44

Here's what happened...

Tatum and Steph Curry dazzled in the primetime spotlight on April 17, giving NBA fans one of the greatest individual battles of the entire season. The pair traded buckets from start to finish, as Curry scored 47 points to Tatum's 44. Although Curry, the eventual league scoring champ, had the slight edge in the points department, Tatum had the advantage in just about every other category. Tatum shot 16-of-25 from the field, 5-of-9 from 3-point range, and 7-of-8 from the free-throw line, while Curry shot a slightly less efficient 15-of-27 from the field, 11-of-19 from deep, and 6-of-8 from the charity stripe. They both also dished out three assists, but Tatum had a 10-7 rebounding lead, a 2-1 steals advantage, and committed just two turnovers to Curry's five. Tatum also was a plus-12 in the 119-114 win, while Curry was a minus-seven. The 44 points represented the second-most of Tatum's career at the time, just eight days after he delivered a then-career-high 53 points against Minnesota.


4. April 9 vs. Minnesota

MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A +/- OREB DREB REB AST PF ST TO BS PTS
41:00 16-25 6-10 15-16 +5 1 9 10 4 3 0 5 1 53

Here's what happened...

Speaking of that 53-point effort against Minnesota, we have it slotted at No. 4 on our list. On April 9, Tatum demolished his previous career-high of 41 points, as he tallied the third most-points by a Celtics player in the franchise’s regular-season history after Larry Bird (60 points) and Kevin McHale (56 points). He tied his career high with 16 made field goals (16-of-25), set a new career high with 15 made free-throws (15-of-16), and made 6-of-10 from 3-point range, as well. Oh, and by the way, this was a 50-point double-double. He logged 10 rebounds, all on the defensive end, to go along with four assists and a blocked shot. The Celtics needed every single one of his points, as he led them back from a double-digit, second-half deficit to force overtime before helping them pull away for a 145-136 win.

3. May 18 vs. Washington

MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A +/- OREB DREB REB AST PF ST TO BS PTS
41:00 14-32 5-12 17-17 +25 2 6 8 4 1 1 1 2 50

Here's what happened...

After crossing the 50-point barrier against Minnesota, Tatum began reaching that number on a regular basis. In fact, that’s how he started off the 2020-21 postseason – by delivering a 50-piece play-in performance against the Washington Wizards to help Boston secure the seventh seed in the East. Tatum wasn’t quite as efficient from the field in this effort, as he shot 14-of-32, including 5-of-12 from 3-point range. However, he was pure perfection from the free-throw line, where he knocked down a career-best 17-of-17. He also logged eight rebounds, four assists, two blocks, and one steal, and committed just one turnover during 41 minutes of action. Tatum was a plus-25 in the effort, as he led the C’s to 118-100 victory while scoring exactly half the number of points that the visiting Wizards ended up with.


2. May 28 vs. Brooklyn

MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A +/- OREB DREB REB AST PF ST TO BS PTS
40:31 16-30 5-11 13-15 +1 0 6 6 7 3 2 1 1 50

Here's what happened...

Tatum’s 50-point play-in game turned out to be just a warm-up for the Playoffs, as he did it all over again in his very next game at TD Garden. After falling into a 2-0 first-round series hole in Brooklyn, the Celtics returned home and got a much-needed boost from their leading scorer, who nailed the half-century mark on the head yet again, while leading his team to a 125-119 win. In a near-identical performance to that of his against Washington, Tatum shot 16-of-30 from the field, 5-of-11 from 3-point range, and 13-of-15 from the free-throw line, while once again committing just one turnover in 41 minutes of action. He also dished out seven assists, corralled six rebounds, snagged two steals, and blocked one shot. Despite a monster combined effort from James Harden (41 points) and Kevin Durant (39 points), Tatum was able to lift his team to a massive upset win in the best performance of his postseason career.


1. April 30 vs. San Antonio

MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A +/- OREB DREB REB AST PF ST TO BS PTS
45:20 20-37 5-7 15-17 +6 2 6 8 5 2 0 0 1 60

Here's what happened...

As for the best performance of Tatum’s entire career, nothing comes close to topping the franchise record-tying 60-point effort he logged against San Antonio on April 30, which sparked the most memorable win of the Celtics’ season. Tatum became just the second player in team history to log 60 in a game, matching Larry Bird’s mark that was achieved on March 12, 1985. But this was more than just a 60-piece; it was an all-around masterpiece. Tatum shot 20-of-37 from the field, 5-of-7 from 3-point range, and 15-of-17 from the free-throw line, while also recording eight rebounds and five assists during 45-plus minutes of turnover free action. But there’s even more to it. The Celtics were getting throttled in the first half, trailing by as many as 32 points, but Tatum, who tallied 31 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, helped them to overcome the second-largest halftime deficit (29 points) in NBA history.

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