Jason Tatum is the biggest star on the Boston Celtics roster. However, on Monday night, Tatum teammate Al Horford rose to the occasion and put in an exceptional performance for the Celtics.
The duo combined to help Boston settle their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Milwaukee Bucks, 2-2. Horford finished Game 4 with the highest level in a playoff 30 points on 11 of 14 shots from the field (78.6%). He’s also defeated five of seven triples (another in the post-season).
Horford’s display, along with an impressive performance from Tatum, helped the Celtics to a 116-108 win.
This was Horford’s first time teasing 30 point mark in postseason, having played 131 playoffs before that. The 35-year-old is playing his 15th season in the NBA, and his record-breaking evening couldn’t have come at a better time with the Celtics. Boston was desperate to regain their home ground advantage with their Game 4 victory and was able to do so.
Speaking after winning from the back, Jason Tatum had nothing but huge praise for the veteran five-time All-Star. Tatum told the media:
“Al has been great for the team. He has been great for me…I remember my freshman year and I was like ‘This is Al Horford!'” “It was great to see someone who takes care of his body, and to be a career all these years. I am very fortunate to call Al a teammate.”
Al Horford and Jayson Tatum battle for 60 points as the Celtics compete against Milwaukee
Jason Tatum and Horford carried the Celtics to victory in Milwaukee. The duo needed to put in stellar performances with Robert Williams being sidelined with a sore left knee and Jaylene Brown tied up with a bad problem.
Horford was the most consistent of the players as he shot well throughout the match. However, Tatum overcame a slow start to his run in the fourth quarter with the Celtics. While Horford scored 16 points in the final quarter, Tatum dropped 12 points to lead the Celtics to outperform Milwaukee 43-28 in the final 12 minutes to overcome a double-digit deficit.
Tatum and Horford became the first pair of Celtics teammates to score more than 30 points each in the same playoff 11 years ago. The most recent example came when Paul Pierce (38 points) and Ray Allen (32 points) did it in the 2011 Postseason vs. the New York Knicks.
Tatum’s 30-point showing along with his 13 rebounds was his first double in the conference semifinals. The All-Star also scored three times for his singles highest score in the series on Monday. This made him especially move up to the fifth on the NBA’s all-time top scorer for players under 25.