Jayson Tatum records 36th 30-point game, one shy of tying Larry Bird

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Jayson Tatum records 36th 30-point game, one shy of tying Larry Bird for third-most in Celtics history

Jayson Tatum logged his 36th 30-point game of the season in Wednesday night’s 115-93 win over the Portland Trail Blazers, the fourth-most in a season in Boston Celtics history and one shy of tying Larry Bird (1984-85) for the third-most.

In the 1970-71 season, John Havlicek recorded 38 30-point games. Bird amassed 39 30-point games in the 1987-88 season, the most in franchise history. With only 15 games remaining in the regular season, Tatum could at least tie the Hall of Famer’s record.

According to multiple NBA betting sites, Jayson Tatum has fourth-shortest odds to win the MVP award. Sportsbooks are showing greater odds for Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

In Boston’s 115-93 victory against the Blazers on Wednesday night, Jayson Tatum finished with 30 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and one steal in 31 minutes of action. Plus, he shot 11-of-17 (64.7%) from the field and 6-of-10 (60%) beyond the arc.

The Celtics avoided their first four-game losing streak. Despite Robert Williams III (strained left hamstring) missing his third straight game, Al Horford stepped up for Boston, posting 17 points in just 24 minutes.

Four-time All-Star Jayson Tatum tallies 36th 30-point game of season, one short of tying Larry Bird for the third-most in Celtics history

Boston led by as many as 27 points in the fourth quarter. “Just getting out of that losing streak is good for our group,” Horford said. “I guess you could say it’s a breath of fresh air.”

However, the C’s still trail the Milwaukee Bucks by two games for the top spot in the Eastern Conference standings. Boston is 28-16 against its conference opponents, whereas Milwaukee is 28-14. If Jayson Tatum stays healthy, the Celtics could reclaim the No. 1 seed.

“I think that’s always the goal, no matter how many games are left,” Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said about bouncing back. “The great teams stay the best version of themselves the longest. And when you don’t, you have to quickly get back to who you are.”

Jayson Tatum will probably not win MVP this season. Nonetheless, the 25-year-old is averaging career highs of 30.3 points, 8.8 boards, 4.7 assists, and 37.4 minutes through 62 starts. Also, Tatum is shooting 46.3% from the floor and 35.5% from 3-point range.

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