With a 124-104 win against the Denver Nuggets, the Boston Celtics have won 19 of their last 22 games, including three straight on the road, and All-Star Jayson Tatum received the highest praise from the home crowd, Sunday.
Tatum and Jaylen Brown (12-of-19, 3-of-6 from 3) each scored a game-high 30 points in their blowout win against reigning MVP Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets.
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They shot a combined 23-of-36 (63.8%) while connecting on a whopping nine of the Celtics’ 19 made 3-pointers.
Celtics’ Jayson Tatum Hears ‘MVP’ Chants in Denver
Tatum, who’s coming off of NBA’s Player of the Week honors this week, which marks the second time this month the association’s recognized Jayson for the weekly award, is on an unprecedented scoring tear. His domination stretches from before the All-Star break to what we’re witnessing now.
Jayson’s scored 21+ points in 16 consecutive games, including a season-high 54 points in a 126-120 win against the Brooklyn Nets, followed by a 44-point gem in a 115-101 victory against the Charlotte Hornets on March 9. He’s averaging 34.2 points while shooting at a 52.7% clip from the floor, 45.5% from 3 to go with his 7.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game in March.
Sunday, before putting the finishing touches on another 30+ point performance — which marked the seventh time he’s reached its plateau, in March — Tatum listened to fans at Ball Arena in Denver chant “MVP.” However, those cheers weren’t for the Nuggets’ reigning most valuable player in Jokic.
Tatum on MVP Chants: ‘That’s an Incredible Feeling’
This chant was for the Celtics’ two-time All-Star, whose scoring clinic outshined Denver’s 2022 top MVP candidate.
“It’s a great feeling,” Tatum said after beating the Nuggets Sunday. “You expect to get that at home, but when you travel, when you see all the Celtics jerseys and t-shirts, and hoodies, and hear them chanting for you on the road; that’s an incredible feeling.”
What changed for Jayson that empowered him and the Celtics for such an epic turnaround?
“Just trying to play the right way,” Tatum replied. “Making shots helps out a lot but just playing within the flow of the game, you know, there’s nothing that we’re going to the game trying to do. It’s just playing the right way, moving the ball, and taking the shots you’re supposed to take.”
Jayson Tatum Knows What Celtics Are ‘Capable of’
Still, Tatum says he and Brown aren’t satisfied with the Celtics’ progression thus far.
“I wouldn’t say satisfaction because, you know, me and him, and everybody on the team, knew that we could play together and what we were capable of,” Tatum explained. “It was more so applying it. So, it wasn’t like we doubted what we could do.”
Jokic (+135), who finished with 23 points on 8-of-23 attempts, and eight rebounds, currently has the second-best odds of winning this year’s MVP award behind Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (-160), per Vegasinsider.com. Boston’s Tatum (+20000) cracked the top-10.
He trails Nets’ Kevin Durant (+15000), Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry (+10000), Phoenix Suns’ Devin Booker (+8000), Dallas Mavs’ Luka Doncic (+3000), and Chicago Bulls’ DeMar DeRozan (+3000) in spots nine through five.