On Friday night, Jayson Tatum had an outstanding performance for the Boston Celtics as they defeated the Dallas Mavericks 125-112 thanks to his 37 points, 13 rebounds, and five assists.
Tatum, who scored 23 points at halftime after scoring 16 points in the second quarter alone, played a significant role in Boston’s 70-49 halftime lead. Boston was up 34-23 after one quarter. In the last 4:01 seconds of the frame, he scored thirteen points.
Tatum not only challenged Luka Doncic, who came into the game on Wednesday as the overwhelming favorite to win the prize, but he also helped the Celtics defeat the visiting Mavericks by a considerable margin. The great wing finished with a team-high 37 points, a game-high and season-high 13 rebounds, a plus-14 plus/minus rating, and a total of 37 points for the team.
While recording 42 points, nine assists, eight rebounds, and a game-high five turnovers, Doncic had a net rating of minus-13.
Undoubtedly, Tatum’s early-season MVP resume received a significant boost from this performance. Gaudy statistics are essential, and Tatum checks that box every night, but they’re even more spectacular when they’re followed with victories. That is the formula for a successful MVP award.
After Wednesday night, Tatum and his Celtics have a league-best 14 victories, including a lopsided triumph against Doncic in the head-to-head matchup. You are capable of math.
Tatum’s effort helped Boston dominate the Mavericks from the beginning to the end. In the first quarter, the C’s had a 14-point advantage, which they increased to 25 points in the second as Tatum scored 16 of his team’s 37 points. He scored 10 points in less than two minutes, including a span during which he hit a 3-pointer over Doncic, blocked a jumper at the rim, and then was fouled in transition, resulting in three free throws, nearly single-handedly turning this game from competitive into a farce.
That run broke Doncic and the Mavs’ spirits and backs, and Boston coasted from there.
However, one more highlight was still to be had, resulting from a face-off between the two-star player.
Moments after Tatum scored his final two points of the play, with just over 2 minutes left to play, Doncic took him off the dribble to finish at the rim. Tatum, pursuing Doncic, arose from behind and blocked the shot with a swat, sending it off the backboard.
That particular play didn’t just feel like a block toward the end of a non-competitive game at the time. It had a symbolic quality, as though it were putting an exclamation point at the end of the phrase “I’m the MVP.”
As they sang “MVP! ” to their young star throughout the Celtics game. ” shouts as he stood at the free-throw line all night.
Tatum was aware of the significance of the matchup with Doncic after the game. Tatum was more than eager to confess that this was a game he targeted and wouldn’t miss, even though he had been labeled doubtful all day with a left ankle sprain. However, he chose not to mention the MVP race specifically.
Tatum gave further insight into why this late-November clash was a little more critical than usual after agreeing with Jaylen Brown’s claim that Tatum wouldn’t have missed the game.
He added, “I think (that’s) necessary as a competitor with matchups like these – against another excellent team, against one of the top players in the league.” “And particularly since we don’t get to play them very frequently.”
Tatum referred to the fact that Dallas had swept Boston in the previous two seasons. He didn’t want to let that occur once more.
Instead, he guided the Celtics to a convincing victory on a big platform while making it clear who the league MVP is going into Thanksgiving.