Celtics

What impresses Steph Curry most about 'lethal' Jayson Tatum

Celtics

Jayson Tatum and Stephen Curry traded haymakers Saturday in a heated matchup between the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors.

But after the dust settled, the two All-Stars took time to admire each other's work.

Tatum (44 points and 10 rebounds) and Curry (47 points; 11 of 19 from 3-point range) shared a moment on the court after a pair of epic performances in Boston's 119-114 win.

Tatum wouldn't go into great detail about their conversation in his postgame interview with Rachel Nichols, but admitted he and the Warriors superstar share a "mutual respect."

(Side note: awesome interview cameo from Tatum's young son, Deuce.)

"Obviously two big performances. I was glad that we got the win, but obviously he's one of the all-time greats," Tatum said. "Just to earn his respect and get a win on the same night ... it was a good night."

Curry proved why he's an all-time great Saturday with a dazzling performance, hitting some ridiculous 3-pointers to singlehandedly keep Golden State in the game.

But Tatum nearly matched Curry blow-for-blow and stepped up when it counted, scoring 12 points in the fourth quarter that included a clutch layup down the stretch.

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The 23-year-old now is averaging 34.2 points and 8.8 rebounds over his last five games and making a late push for All-NBA status -- and NBA elites like Curry have taken notice.

"You can tell the game has slowed down for him, just in the way he picks and chooses his spots and how he manages the game," Curry said of Tatum. "He's shooting the ball a lot better from the perimeter, but when that game slows down ... that's when you become lethal."

No one would know more about being a lethal scorer than Curry, so that's high praise.

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Even Draymond Green tipped his cap to his Subway commercial nemesis Saturday night. 

"Incredible,” the Warriors forward said of Tatum, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “Big-boy performance, especially without [injured Celtics teammate] Jaylen Brown. He stepped up and put them on his back.

"But, yeah, my sub is still better, though."