Tatum reacts to his epic matchup vs. Morant in Celtics’ big win originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
NBA fans were treated to an amazing matchup between two of the sport’s best young players during Thursday night’s game featuring the Boston Celtics and Memphis Grizzlies at TD Garden.
Celtics forward Jayson Tatum got the better of Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant in leading Boston to an impressive 120-107 win — the C’s 13th victory in the last 15 games.
Tatum scored 37 points on 14-of-25 shooting, in addition to six assists, five rebounds and one block in 39 minutes. Twenty-one of Tatum’s points came in the fourth quarter as the Celtics pulled away late. Morant poured in 38 points but struggled from the field, hitting just 13 of his 29 shot attempts. He did, however, throw down another highlight-reel dunk.
What did Tatum think of his exciting battle with Morant?
“It was a lot of fun. The place was electric tonight. I think it was one of those moments, two guys just going at it, doing what they can to will their team to victory. It just so happened that it was a back-and-forth thing.”
Tatum and Morant hit six consecutive shots (three each) during an exciting stretch in the middle of the fourth quarter.
“As a competitor, first and foremost, that’s what you look forward to,” Tatum said. “Somebody that you respect like that, who’s obviously doing big things in the league. You just want to compete.”
Tatum and Morant are two of the most gifted offensive players in the league. They are both franchise cornerstones who make their teams must-see TV on a nightly basis.
It was very encouraging from the Celtics’ perspective to see Tatum meet the challenge of outplaying Morant head on and come through when his team needed him most in the fourth quarter. That’s the kind of attitude and production the Celtics need from Tatum if they’re going to make a deep playoff run in the spring.