Jayson Tatum ties Larry Bird's franchise scoring record in Celtics' 32-point comeback win

Jack Baer
·2 min read

The Boston Celtics had things go their way for at least one night. Check that, most of one night.

The struggling Celtics pulled out a stunning win over the San Antonio Spurs on Friday, erasing a 32-point lead to force overtime and pull out a 143-140 win. Per The Athletic's Jared Weiss, that adds up to the third-largest comeback in NBA history.

You will not be surprised to hear Jayson Tatum led the way for Boston. You might be surprised, however, to hear that Tatum tied Larry Bird's franchise scoring record with 60 points. 

Tatum is also now the second-youngest player in NBA history with a 60-point game, behind only Devin Booker per ESPN Stats & Info. He was 20-of-37 from the field, with 10 points coming overtime:

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Bird's record dates back to 1985, when he scored his career high in points against the Atlanta Hawks (without the help of overtime, it should be noted). 32 of those points came in a transcendent 14-minute span.

There is, however, an argument to be made that Tatum deserved to have 61 points and the Celtics' outright record, as a questionable continuation call resulted in two free throws for the 23-year-old rather than an and-1.

Outright record or no, the night was exactly what the Celtics needed. The team had been noticeably struggling lately, dropping four of their last six entering Friday with losses to the likes of the Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder. 

It looked like more of the same on Friday, when the Celtics trailed 39-16 after the first quarter. What followed was a historic comeback, and maybe just what the team needs to stay in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Celtics now sit at 34-30, sitting in sixth place with a half-game lead over the Miami Heat for the final playoff spot.

Tatum took the opportunity to celebrate with his son Deuce after the game.

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