The Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors put on quite the thrilling performance on Saturday night. In what was arguably the game of the year to this point, the stars came to play as Stephen Curry and Jayson Tatum combined for an absurd 91 points. The former led all scorers with 47 points, tying Kobe Bryant’s record of most consecutive 30-point games by a player 33 years or older (10). However, his efforts weren’t enough to overcome a surging Celtics team who topped the Warriors 119-114 en route to their sixth consecutive victory.
Following the final buzzer, the two All-Stars shared a lengthy conversation on the court, in which Curry lauded the 23-year-old’s ever-evolving ascension into superstardom.
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Curry on Tatum: ‘He’s a Supreme Talent’
“I just told him (Tatum) he’s super tough, man,” Curry told reporters after the game. “You can tell the game has slowed down for him, just in the way he picks and chooses his spots and how he kind of manages the game. He’s shooting the ball a lot better from the perimeter, but when that game slows down, I don’t know if it’s four or five years in whatever he is, that’s when you become lethal. With his skillset, his size, their system features him, so he’s a supreme talent. A supreme talent.”
Tatum may have two All-Star selections under his belt, yet even the reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week needed to take a step back and relish in the praise of arguably the greatest shooter in NBA history.
“Obviously he’s one of the all-time greats,” Tatum said of the two-time league MVP. “Just to earn his respect and get a win on the same night, it was a good night.”
Tatum has been on an absolute tear of late. Shooting 64% from the field vs. the Warriors, the former No. 3 overall pick has now averaged an impressive 29.3 points over the Celtics’ last nine games — of which Boston has won eight. During the team’s current six-game win streak, Tatum has managed to up his production, averaging 32.6 points, scoring 32-plus points on three occasions including a career-high 53 points two Fridays ago.
Coach Stevens: ‘I Just Hate Competing Against Him’
The Celtics may have ultimately come away victorious on Saturday. Still, head coach Brad Stevens would likely sleep a lot better knowing he didn’t have to see Curry on the hardwood in the near future.
“I just hate competing against him. But man, do I love watching him,” Stevens said of the Warriors guard. “He is as fun to watch as any player because of his creativity, his mastery of shooting and you just never feel good when you’re an opponent. You always feel like you’re the next line of a fairy tale.”
Stevens wasn’t the only coach on Thursday with his eyes glued to the court.
“I’m in awe of what I watched tonight,” Warriors coach Steven Kerr proclaimed. “From a skill level and level of competition, it felt like a playoff game out there. Both teams were just gassed and competed like crazy, and just incredible shot-making, particularly from Steph and Jayson.”
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