Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum trails only Larry Bird for the most 45-point games in franchise history. Bird recorded at least 45 points in 19 games of his 13-year career. Tatum has a total of five.
Ranking third with four 45-point games is Paul Pierce. Through 21 starts this season, the three-time All-Star has recorded three 40-point performances.
Per a few NBA betting sites, Jayson Tatum has the second-best odds to win MVP in 2023. Some sportsbooks show Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic as the top favorite to win the award.
Only Larry Bird has more 45-point games as a Celtic. pic.twitter.com/Nji0QiCLJr
— StatMuse (@statmuse) December 1, 2022
On Wednesday night, in the Celtics’ 134-121 win over the Miami Heat at TD Garden, Jayson Tatum scored a season-high 49 points in 43 minutes played. While not quite a career high, it was still one of the wing’s best outings of his NBA career.
Last season, the 24-year-old logged two games during the regular season with at least 45 points. During the second round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs, the forward recorded 46 points in Game 6 of the Celtics’ 108-95 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Jayson Tatum ranks second behind Larry Bird for most 45-point games in Celtics franchise history
Additionally, Tatum scored 580 points through his first 20 games this season, the most by a Boston player in franchise history. In Larry Bird’s first 20 games of the 1984-85 season, the legend scored 575 points.
In the 2020-21 season, Tatum finished with 53 points against the Minnesota Timberwolves on April 9th and a career-high 60 points versus the San Antonio Spurs on April 30th.
On January 4, 2021, Jayson Tatum posted his third career 40-point game in a 126-114 win over the Toronto Raptors, the most by a Celtics player prior to turning 23.
Most points by a Boston player through the Celtics first 20 games in a season:
1. Jayson Tatum (580, 2022-23)*
2. Larry Bird (575, 1984-85)
3. John Havlicek (571, 1970-71)
4. Paul Pierce (535, 2001-02)
5. Paul Pierce (532, 2005-06)
*Celtics have only played 19 games this year pic.twitter.com/zNT2vKbbjy
— Dan Kelley (@DanKelley66) November 26, 2022
Furthermore, the Duke product finished with nine 30-point games in November. Only Larry Bird (10 in March 1986, 11 in March 1988) has more 30-point games in a calendar month in Celtics history.
Through 21 starts this season, Jayson Tatum is averaging career highs of 31.6 points, 4.5 assists, and 1.1 blocks per game. In addition to averaging 7.8 boards, the wing is shooting 48.8% from the field and 36.6% from three-point range.
Bird averaged a franchise career-high 29.9 points with the Celtics in the 1987-88 season. But the three-time MVP also played in a much more difficult era of basketball.
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