On April 30th, 2021, Jayson Tatum scored 60 points against the San Antonio Spurs. This night was historic for a couple of reasons, the first being that he is now tied with Larry Bird for the most points a Celtic ever scored in a single game. The second is that every one of Tatum’s 60 points counted, as the Spurs were up by as much as 32 points, and the Celtics stormed back to win 143-140 in overtime.
The 32 point comeback is the third largest in NBA history. The second largest happened in 2009 when the Sacramento Kings came back from a 35-point deficit against the Chicago Bulls, and the largest comeback was when the Utah Jazz came back from a 36-point deficit against the Denver Nuggets in 1996.
This season has been rough for everybody, Tatum included. Earlier in the year, Tatum was diagnosed with COVID-19, and even when he was cleared to play again, he still felt repercussions from his symptoms. Tatum revealed that before some games, he would use an inhaler just so he could have enough oxygen. This is very similar to how Larry Bird endured pain, quite simply like no other. However, the stories about the pain Bird endured are for another blog.
Aside from Devin Booker, Jayson Tatum is the youngest player in NBA history to score 60 or more points (Booker dropped 70 on the Celtics). He also scored 53 points earlier in the season, making him the first player in Celtics history to score 50 or more points twice in a season. It’s safe to say that Tatum is already in elite company.
If you want to see a blog on Larry Bird’s ability to play through pain, let me know, don’t forget to follow the NBA Blog (it would mean a lot to me), and as always, have an awesome day!