BSJ Game Report: Celtics 143, Spurs 140 – Jayson Tatum joins Larry Bird in the history books

(Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)

Everything you need to know about the Boston Celtics 143-140 overtime win over the San Antonio Spurs, with BSJ insight and analysis. 

Box Score


Wow! That’s my immediate reaction. The Celtics and Spurs basically played three games here. The Celtics lost the first one by 32. They won the second one by 32. And then they won the third one by 3. It’s almost impossible to describe how this game flipped from so incredibly bad to so incredibly good. I feel sorry for whoever’s job that is!

... Oh ... 

Jayson Tatum was out of his mind. He tied Larry Bird’s single-game scoring record with 60 points, and is the only Celtic ever to have two 50+ point games in a single season. He lived at the rim, took 17 free throws (making 15) and hit 54% of his shots (5-7 from 3). 

“JT really was outstanding tonight. You have to tip your cap,” Jaylen Brown said. “That boy was destined for greatness. I couldn’t throw a rock into the ocean tonight and JT carried us to a win, man. He played hard. He led us tonight. There’s other nights where it’s going to be other ways, but tonight JT was outstanding.”

Oh, about that first half. “To be candid, I was pissed, disappointed,” Brad Stevens said about the early deficit. “We can't be like that and I've said all the time, it's easy to play from behind. It's really hard to hold a lead in this league. There's nothing more uncomfortable than being up big early in the game.” The Celtics were down 32 at one point. It’s almost as if they were testing the tensile strength of their ability to get down big and make a comeback. 


Evan Fournier, who had looked absolutely horrible to that point, hit his second 3-pointer of the third quarter to cut the San Antonio lead from 32 to 20. It was the first glimmer of something positive for the Celtics. Think of it as the moment Rocky made Drago bleed. 


Jaylen Brown, who had been ice cold all game, drills the 3 to put Boston up 2 with 16.7 left.