In a historic Game 7 performance, Jayson Tatum scored a record-breaking 51 points to lead the Boston Celtics to a convincing 112-88 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. The victory propelled the Celtics to the Eastern Conference finals for the second year in a row, where they will face the Miami Heat.
Tatum’s historic night shattered Stephen Curry’s Game 7 record of 50 points, which he set two weeks ago against Sacramento. Tatum also recorded 13 rebounds in the game, adding to his impressive stat line. Jaylen Brown contributed 25 points for the Celtics, while Joel Embiid scored 15 points for the 76ers.
The Celtics had rallied from a 3-2 deficit in the best-of-seven series to keep alive their hopes for a record-breaking 18th NBA championship. Tatum’s record-breaking performance in Game 7 helped the Celtics to achieve their goal.
Tatum’s performance in Game 7 was particularly impressive, given his previous struggles in the series. He started Game 5 with 0-6, and missed 14 of his first 15 shots in Game 6. However, he bounced back in the fourth quarter of Game 6, scoring four 3-pointers to force a deciding Game 7.
In Game 7, Tatum picked up where he left off, scoring Boston’s first basket and racking up 11 points in the first quarter, 14 more in the second quarter, and 17 in the third quarter. Boston’s 33-10 lead in the third quarter was the most lopsided quarter in a Game 7 since 1997.
The Celtics’ victory over the 76ers was also notable for the return of Jaylen Brown, who had worn a black mask since breaking a bone in his face before the All-Star break. Brown absorbed an elbow to the face from James Harden, who was assessed a flagrant foul, but continued without his mask and with cotton in his nostril.
The Celtics’ win sets up an exciting Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat, which will begin in Boston on Wednesday. For now, Celtics fans can savor Tatum’s record-breaking performance in Game 7 and look forward to what promises to be an exciting series against the Heat.