James put up a triple-double when the Lakers won in Boston last season in his first taste of the rivalry, but LA had lost his ensuing two meetings with the Celtics. It would try to unleash Tatum from all angles and see if there was anything the Lakers could do about it. James, who struggled from the foul line, made the first and missed the second, but the carom went out of bounds off the Celtics.
"I'm super impressed with our guys' ability to work together and still win games throughout the season".
Tatum won't keep up this efficiency, but if the strides he's taken keep up through the remainder of the season, the Celtics suddenly jump a level with him.
Davis, in his first season as Laker, has been a force throughout the season, averaging 26.6 points and 9.2 rebounds.
Last season's Eastern finalists are also on pace to win 70 games - a feat accomplished only by the 1995-96 Bulls (72 wins) and the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors (73 wins). Get up to a $500 risk-free bet at FanDuel today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.
"I just wish we would've won", he said.
Los Angeles began to slow down on the offensive end as Boston's wing players made it hard to get any clean looks off, but were still able to maintain a slim lead. "We know that. We can't make excuses when guys are out".
Tatum did most of his damage in the second and third quarters, scoring 36 points in that stretch while hitting 11 of his 15 shots from the field.
James drafted Tatum to his All-Star team this year.
The reason he wasn't more of a scoring factor in the fourth was because of the Lakers defense blitzing him nearly immediately upon the ball getting into his hands. As Stevens noted, he will get more practice with having to pass out of double-teams, either setting up his teammates better or finding a way to get the ball again in space.
"It was a step in the right direction", Tatum said of his performance against James and Davis.
Without Walker, do they commit two to the ball? We just stayed with it. Anthony Davis accounted for 32 points and 13 rebounds for L.A. but it was the 21-year-old forward for the Celtics who stole the headlines. "We should be able to take advantage of that a little bit better than we did".
Moments after a thrilling finish befitting the storied history between two longtime rivals, LeBron James and Jayson Tatum met at center court and shared a long embrace. We've all got to continue to improve and go with him.
Tatum is just getting a handle on being a go-to scorer.