With the Celtics' season on the line, Jayson Tatum delivered a performance that will get etched into his legacy, scoring 46 points, including 28 in the second half, 16 of which came in the fourth quarter as he led his team to a Game 7 back in Boston.
When asked what got him going, Tatum replied: "Knowing that if we lost, our season it'd be over with; I was excited to play today. This was a big moment for all of us. Losing Game 5 was going to make us or break us."
Jaylen Brown, who registered 22 points, five rebounds, and four assists, described it as "a signature game for the Celtics and for Jayson."
Marcus Smart said of Tatum: "That's why he gets paid the big bucks. For moments like that right there. That's what I was telling him throughout the game."
Smart, who scored 21, had a game-high seven assists and did well defending Giannis Antetokounmpo for stretches later stated about Tatum: "He's cool, calm, and collected all the way through," adding, "he went into another mode right there. We saw it in his eyes."
Speaking about his star's performance on Friday, Ime Udoka expressed: "Hit some big ones throughout the game. He did that and made the right play as well," adding, "huge night by him, other guys as well, but definitely needed."
As for what Tatum learned about this Celtics team in Game 6, the answer is: "That we are as close and as tough as I knew we were. Regardless of circumstances, I believe in everyone in that room."