Jayson Tatum has always had Larry Hughes' support in his journey to the NBA

Midway through the third quarter on Sunday, Jayson Tatum made another 3-pointer, outscoring the Philadelphia 76ers for the period. He then turned to the boisterous Boston fans and let out a cathartic shout.

“This is my s—,” he declared.

Tatum led the Celtics to a 112-88 victory and a trip to the Eastern Conference finals with 51 points, the highest ever in an NBA Game 7. Stephen Curry’s 50-point performance in Game 7 of the Golden State Warriors’ first-round series against the Sacramento Kings two weeks prior set the previous mark, which Tatum shattered.

Tatum finished the game with a 17-of-28 field goal percentage, 13 rebounds, five assists, and became the sixth player in NBA history to record at least 50-10-5 in a postseason game.

Marcus Smart, a player with the Celtics, stated, “It’s a movie. It’s a massive film. being able to relax and observe while enjoying some popcorn.

Tatum rebounded with one of the finest performances in franchise history after battling through one of the worst shooting nights of his career in Game 6. In Game 7, he outperformed the Sixers’ standout tandem of James Harden (nine points) and Joel Embiid (15 points), who together scored or provided assists for 44 points.

ESPN monitoring data shows that Tatum scored all 51 points in the half court against five different defenders, including 17 points against Embiid, the 2023 NBA MVP. Tatum was fourth in the vote for the award this season, which was a career-high placing, but at the conclusion of the game, the TD Garden’s sold-out crowd was chanting “MVP” for him.

Before the game, Tatum referred to Sunday as the Celtics’ opportunity to atone for their humiliating loss in their previous encounter with the home fans in Boston. Before going off in the fourth quarter of Game 6, Tatum had a terrible first three quarters, going 1-for-13.

“I was really excited just for the moment, to be able to come out and play today,” Tatum said following Sunday’s contest. “I had played as poorly as I could have for 42, 43 minutes, and it was obviously on my mind. ‘It’s only up from here,’ is a proverb we use.

He was obviously prepared to reply right away in Game 7. After scoring 18 points in each of Games 4, 5, and 6’s first halves, Tatum scored 25 points in the first half of Game 7.

Tatum added, “Going into Game 6 — it seems strange, but I was so locked in. I had a tight waist. I was too preoccupied with what I needed to do in my own brain. Points I need to getto succeed. It’s a major occasion.

And I felt more like myself today. I was loose, laughing, and joking before the game. I perform at my highest level while I’m having fun. I simply made an effort not to consider the pressure or what people might say. Just concentrate on enjoying the game.

Despite having both of their stars struggle, the Sixers led after the first quarter and trailed 55-52 at the half. The game was then quickly opened up by Boston, who outscored Philadelphia 33-10 in the third quarter. Tatum put the game beyond reach by scoring 17 points in the third quarter alone, more than matching the 76ers’ total.

Sixers coach Doc Rivers said when asked if he had ever witnessed a playoff performance like to Tatum’s.

I could only think of one.

“I’ve witnessed one. Unfortunately, it was in this building’, Rivers remarked. “And LeBron [James] was there.” I’ve never witnessed a performance like that in person before, and I’m glad I haven’t. [Tatum was] fantastic.

For the second straight year and the sixth time in the previous seven, the Celtics made it to the conference finals.

Regarding the contest with Miami, Tatum referred to them as “a team that we’re extremely familiar with.” “A really well-trained squad, they play hard and compete with the best of them. They make plays, play defence, and find out how to win games. I’m looking forward to it since it will be exciting and fiercely competitive.

The Celtics won two straight games to win the series after coming back from a 3-2 deficit. It was a predicament similar to the one the Celtics encountered in the Eastern Conference semifinals of the previous season, when Boston overcame a 3-2 deficit to beat Milwaukee and go to the conference finals.

According to analysis by ESPN’s Stats & Information, the Celtics have now come back to win seven series after falling behind 3-2, the most of any club in NBA history.

First-year Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla stated, “You always enter a series with the expectation of how it’s supposed to go, and it’s just not how the playoffs are.” “We just dealt with a series’ ups and downs. Never experienced extreme emotional highs or lows. We went through some difficult times, but we managed to maintain our emotional cohesion, which I believe is crucial going into the playoffs.

The Celtics have been relying on their playoff experiences from last season to carry them forward this season after losing in the NBA Finals. “Unfinished business” has become abeen their rallying cry all season, and it was prominently shown on the video screen before Game 7.

The Celtics were installed as -500 underdogs to defeat the Heat (+380) at Caesars Sportsbook since the other top teams in the conference were eliminated. Additionally, Boston supporters were already focused on the upcoming job at hand as the last seconds of the fourth quarter passed by, shouting, “Beat the Heat.”

Al Horford, a centre for the Boston Celtics, remarked, “We really locked in and stuck together. “[The Sixers] are an excellent squad. If they were on the other side, it may have been a match in the Finals, or it might have been a conference final. They make such a strong team. Furthermore, you must give them credit. They make a strong team. We barely managed to get it done because only one team could win.

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