Down All-Star Kemba Walker and Defensive Player of the Year candidate Marcus Smart, the Boston Celtics rode the hot hand of All-Star Jayson Tatum to their fourth-straight win, a 123-115 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
In his third game back from a groin injury, the 21-year-old looked back to form as he finished with a team-high 28 points on 10-for-20 (50.0%) shooting from the field and 5-for-9 (55.6%) shooting from deep to go along with seven rebounds and three assists.
Tatum has now scored 20 or more points in a career-best six-straight games, doubling his previous best streak of three.
Jayson Tatum has reached the 20-point mark in each of his last six games, doubling his longest previous streak- Celtics Stats (@celtics_stats) February 4, 2020
(3, Dec. 18-22, 2019)
During this span, the first-time All-Star is averaging 24.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists while shooting 48.6% from the field and 45.2% from deep (on 7.0 attempts).
It was a relatively slow start for Tatum in Atlanta, as he scored just eight points in the first half on 3-for-10 shooting. Needless to say, he stepped up in a major way in the final two frames.
Tatum's 20 second-half points came in a variety of ways - he was 4-for-6 from beyond the arc, did work in the post:
J- Boston Celtics (@celtics) February 4, 2020
and found ways to produce as a playmaker:
From the no-look pass to the two-handed slam, it was easy to pick out tonight's @jetblue play of the game 💪 pic.twitter.com/CuWbUBUL9F- Boston Celtics (@celtics) February 4, 2020
As one of nine first-time All-Stars this year, Tatum continues to prove why he is worthy of that billing.
On the other end, Atlanta has a 21-year-old first-time All-Star of its own in Trae Young, who continues to impress with his seemingly endless range from beyond the arc.
Young's night was the opposite of his counterpart as he came out of the gates firing with 17 points in the first quarter, including two seemingly effortless triples from the Hawk's midcourt logo.
Trae from the logo, x2!- NBA (@NBA) February 4, 2020
He's up to 17 PTS and is 4-5 from deep through 1Q on NBA LP ➡️ https://t.co/lZZApswzuX pic.twitter.com/Hd5tLTnENP
Young would go on to finish with a game-high 34 points (11 in the second half) on 10-for-20 shooting from the field and 4-for-11 shooting from beyond the arc. He also dished out a game-high seven assists, all in 35 minutes of action.
The Celtics, who move to 34-15 on the season, are back in action on Wednesday when they return home to host the Magic. The Hawks head to Minnesota on Wednesday to open a two-game road trip against the Timberwolves
The Hawks then head to Boston on Friday for a rematch with this same Celtics team in a game that could see Walker and Smart back in action.
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