2018 NBA Playoffs

LeBron anoints Jayson Tatum: ‘I just know he’s just built for stardom’

(Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

It was a sequence that, had the Celtics gone on to win Game 7 and advance to the NBA Finals, would have been etched in NBA postseason lore — not just team history.

With 6:43 to go in the game and the Celtics trailing 71-67, rookie forward Jayson Tatum drove the lane and dunked on LeBron James.

https://twitter.com/celtics/status/1000929837551267841

And, following a turnover from Tatum's idol, the 20-year-old hit a 3-pointer to give the Celtics a 72-71 lead with 6:04 to play.

Unfortunately for the Celtics, it was their final lead of the game, as the Cavaliers went on to an 87-79 victory to advance to the NBA Finals.

But the loss doesn't diminish Tatum's impressive rookie campaign. In fact, it probably enhanced it. While his young teammates wilted under the glare of the Game 7 spotlight, Tatum seemed right at home as he finished with a team-high 24 points.

It certainly made an impression on James, who embraced the young star after the final horn sounded.