Jayson Tatum had a Game 7 for the ages Sunday when the Boston Celtics eliminated the Philadelphia 76ers from the second round of the NBA playoffs.
The Celtics superstar scored 51 points -- the most ever in a Game 7 -- with 13 rebounds, five assists, two steals and zero turnovers.
One former Celtics player who knows about winning Game 7s is Cedric Maxwell. For example, Maxwell scored a team-high 24 points, along with eight rebounds and eight assists when the Celtics beat the rival Los Angeles Lakers in Game 7 of the 1984 NBA Finals at the old Boston Garden.
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Tatum's comments after the Celtics' Game 6 win over the Sixers caught Maxwell's attention, and he agreed with what the C's forward had said about himself. It led to a pretty cool moment between them after Sunday's series-clinching victory, which Maxwell explained Tuesday during an appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub show "Zolak & Bertrand".
"Jayson Tatum said (after Game 6 vs. 76ers), 'Humbly, I'm one of the best players in the world.' In the hallway the next night I saw him and I said, 'You know what, you are one of the best damn players in the world.' And then he has that tremendous Game 7. You guys know where we sit at (on press row) -- he's walking out of the game, he sees me, he points to me, I pointed back to him. One of the coolest moments I've had as a sports broadcaster with players and understanding who they are and what I've said to them."
For those unaware, Maxwell and play-by-play voice Sean Grande of 98.5 The Sports Hub sit with other members of the media in the corner where the Celtics bench is located. So when Tatum leaves the floor to head down the tunnel to the locker room, he can see Maxwell if he just looks up toward that press area.
Tatum and the Celtics have a great opportunity to create plenty more memorable moments for everyone involved with this playoff run. They are halfway to Banner 18, and next up on the schedule is the Miami Heat.
Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals is Wednesday night in Boston.