Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum dropped Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George to the floor as the fourth quarter was winding down in Wednesday night's game at Staples Center before nailing the tying 3-pointer to add to his growing highlight reel of impressive NBA plays.
Tatum entered the night leading the NBA in shooting percentage on shots to tie or take the lead in the fourth quarter, and this 3-point field goal helped the C's force overtime after blowing a 10-point lead in the final frame.
The 21-year-old star finished with a team-high 30 points, but it wasn't enough as the Clippers pulled out a 107-104 overtime victory. George was still very impressed by the play of Tatum, though.
“It wasn’t the first time I was on a Tatum highlight," George told reporters. "It won’t be the last, I’m sure. But that's part of the game. I don't buy into that much, obviously continuing on and trying to win the game. He’s special man, he’s a special talent. Says a lot about him when he has to go against myself, Pat (Beverley), Kawhi (Leonard), Moe (Harkless), and still pull his team together without Gordon (Hayward) in the lineup and still put up 30. It says a lot about his talent and his skill. He's good -- it's one of the reasons the Celtics are off to the hot start they are.”
Telling my kids this was Michael Jordan 🧐 pic.twitter.com/EBQlkbT3lX— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) November 21, 2019
George is right, it wasn't the first time he's been on the wrong end of a Tatum highlight since the Duke product entered the league in the 2017-18 campaign.
Tatum posterized George last season when the superstar forward was a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder:
The biggest positive for the Celtics from Wednesday was Tatum embracing the spotlight and not being afraid to take the high-pressure shot. He showed a lot of courage in that regard as a rookie during the 2018 playoffs, and after a somewhat disappointing sophomore campaign, he's bounced back in a huge way this season. You want to see your best young players relish the challenge of going up against and beating the league's best, and Tatum definitely displayed that versus the Clippers.
"I’ve always looked up to Kawhi and PG. Especially PG, that was one of my favorite players,” Tatum told reporters. "This is the opportunity you look for, especially the bright lights, big stage, you don’t want to back down. You want to compete and show them that you belong out here and just earn their respect.”
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