Jayson Tatum hailed veteran teammate Al Horford’s performance in Boston’s win over Golden State on Thursday, saying the 36-year-old ‘looked 25’.
In the second NBA Finals rematch of the season after the Warriors won a blowout in December, the Celtics got their revenge in an overtime classic at TD Garden.
Al Horford posted a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds on 8/13 shooting from the field including two clutch threes to steer Boston to victory – eight in a row for Joe Mazzulla’s side.
Post-game, Jayson Tatum said that the five-time All-Star ‘looked like he was 25’ after yet another impressive showing for the team with the NBA’s best record.
“I joked with Al. He came out and looked like he was 25 today. Two days off. I said, ‘you need more two days in a row.’ He came out and set the tone. He really did.
“And we all kind of followed behind that for the rest of the night. Al was big for us the whole game, hit the big three late. Just the way he started kind of set the tone for us for the rest of the game.”
AL HORFORD. SPLASH.
CELTICS LEAD BY 4 ON TNT pic.twitter.com/75RFP94QKS
— NBA (@NBA) January 20, 2023
Tatum told Horford to play in the post and be aggressive
Asked Al Horford if his early post-ups were part of the game plan and he said they weren’t.
Jayson Tatum told him to get in the post,
— Bobby Manning (@RealBobManning) January 20, 2023
Horford was cooking early and posted 10 points and 5 assists inside the first quarter including a chasedown block on Jordan Poole and a vintage pump fake, drive and dunk.
The former third overall pick stressed that this was just a regular season game and the Celtics should not get ahead of themselves, despite the importance of the encounter.
“I wanted to win. I wanted to win really bad. It’s just one regular season game, but yeah.”
Head Coach Joe Mazzulla also hat tipped Horford in his post-game press conference, praising the big man’s approach to the game which helped Boston secure the win.
“I just thought he brought a different type of physicality and mindset to the game. I thought he helped us get going by having a good start, and we needed that tonight. He was big.”
NBA betting sites have the Celtics as outright favorites to win an 18th Larry O’Brien trophy in 2023, ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks, Brooklyn Nets, Denver Nuggets and Warriors.
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