Karalis: Jayson Tatum’s wild ride is worth the ups and downs

(Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)

Three weeks ago, Jayson Tatum dropped 53 points against the Minnesota Timberwolves to lead a Celtics comeback that required overtime. It was a history-making night as he became the youngest Celtics ever to drop 50. The only problem is that his son wasn't there for the game.

[caption id="attachment_618082" align="alignleft" width="300"] (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)[/caption]

"He wasn’t here, but he called me after the game and said congrats. I’ll have to do it again some day and maybe he’ll be there the next time."

Friday night, Tatum dropped 60 points against the San Antonio Spurs to lead a Celtics comeback that required overtime. It was another history-making night as he joined Larry Bird as the only other Celtics player to score 60 in a game.

Deuce wouldn't miss the encore.

"Jokingly I said it just means I'll have to do it again when he’s there," Tatum said. "I mean, I meant it. I didn't know it would be this soon."

The Boston Celtics were part of the league before it was actually called the NBA, and in all that time, with all those great players, no one has scored more than 50 twice in a season until now. Tatum was dazzling from the tip, attacking more like the guy on the cusp of superstardom and playing less like the guy hunting mid-range fadeaways.

"That boy was destined for greatness," Jaylen Brown said after the game. "JT carried us to a win, man. He played hard. He led us tonight."

Progress, and success, doesn't always follow a linear path. Tatum's road has wound its way through peaks and valleys, and on nights like this one it becomes clear that the whole damn ride is worth it.

Tatum is watching his name enter the books next to revered legends, but this game is so different from theirs. It's not just the style of play either.