Jayson Tatum's vocation play saw him walk an NBA and Boston Celtics fable connected Monday.
With a 51-point effort against the Charlotte Hornets, Tatum passed Larry Bird for the astir 50-point games successful Celtics history. The tally marked the 5th 50-point crippled of his career. Bird reached the people 4 times, including a career-high 60 points successful a 1985 crippled against the Atlanta Hawks.
Tatum reached the people with a 3-pointer from the helping successful the last infinitesimal of Boston's 130-118 win.
The 3-pointer was his seventh of the time connected 12 attempts (58.3%). He finished with 51 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists, portion shooting an businesslike 15 of 23 from the floor. After the game, helium honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. connected the vacation celebrating the civilian rights icon.
"We are each blessed and honored to beryllium capable to play and correspond Dr. King and his legacy, his family," Tatum said. "In galore ways, without him, I wouldn't beryllium capable to bash what I bash and unrecorded retired my dream."
He besides sneaked successful a speedy brag connected his multitude of 50-point performances.
"It's been a portion since I scored 50," Tatum added. "So I needed that one."
What does Tatum's 51-point crippled mean?
Tatum has emerged from a perennial All-Star into a starring MVP campaigner this season, his sixth successful the NBA. Fresh disconnected of starring the Celtics to past season's NBA Finals, he's averaged a career-high 30.6 points and 8.2 rebounds portion adding 4.3 assists and 1 bargain per game. His Celtics person the champion grounds successful the NBA astatine 33-12 and led the second-place Brooklyn Nets by 4.5 games aft Monday's win.
The 50-point effort was Tatum's archetypal of the play aft helium scored 54 and 51 successful games past play and 50 and a career-high 60 during the 2020-21 campaign.
While Tatum, 24, is connected gait to crush Bird's people of 50-point games arsenic agelong arsenic helium remains a Celtic, he's doing truthful successful an epoch wherever 50-point games are overmuch much commonplace than erstwhile Bird played. From 1980-90, the NBA saw a full of 66 50-point performances. As the game's trended toward ratio alongside the clasp of the 3-point shot, 49 players person present posted 50-plus points since 2020.
For example, Tatum's already agelong surpassed Bird's vocation full of 649 made 3-pointers. With his 7 connected Monday, Tatum's vocation tally reached 969.
The modern crippled is vastly antithetic from NBA hoops of the 1980s. And Tatum's connected the starring borderline of the game's advances arsenic 1 of the astir prolific scorers and players successful the league.