Jayson Tatum was the “best player on the court” Thursday night, says Celtics teammate Kemba Walker.
Tatum finished with 39 points and nine rebounds in just under 48 minutes, leading Boston past the visiting LA Clippers in a 141-133 double-overtime win.
The 21-year-old NBA All-Star also held Kawhi Leonard to a 3-for-11 shooting when matched up against the reigning Finals MVP.
“Thus far, yeah,” Walker said, when asked if this had been the best game Tatum had ever played. “He was incredible. He made every right play. He made every big shot. He was the best player on the court tonight.”
And, afterward, he admitted that getting the chance to play against players such as Leonard and Paul George (who left the game in the second quarter because of a strained left hamstring) helped boost his level of play.
“Any time you get a chance to play against guys you look up to, or arguably are the best guys in the league, it definitely kind of raises your level of play,” Tatum told ESPN. “I enjoy competing against the best players.”
Tatum was not only competing against the best players — he looked like one of them.
“It’s fun [to see],” Walker said of Tatum’s growth. “I’m glad I get to be a part of it. It’s just special. He’s been playing really well, but not only has he been scoring, he’s just been making the right play. I think that’s what’s most important. You’re driving and kicking, he’s seeing his reads, and he’s doing the right things.”
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