Photo: Draft Kings
By: Patrick Whalen
As we near the end of our countdown of the Top 10 Performances of the Season we see Jayson Tatum make his second appearance on the list and we finally see new Celtics star Kemba Walker makes his debut on our countdown. And now without further ado, let’s get right into it.
4: Kemba Walkers vs the Bucks Jan 16, 2020
It was just the 9th game into 2020 for the Celtics and they had been off to a rough start as they started the new year just 4-4. The Celtics would then need to pay a visit to the eastern conference leading Milwaukee Bucks who were having another great season led by MVP candidate Giannias Antetokounmpo. With the Celtics missing Jaylen Brown they would need their other stars to step up even more if they stood a chance against the Bucks and Kemba took his game to a whole other level. Kemba would be held scoreless in the first quarter as the Bucks would jump out to a 16 point lead. The Bucks would have been blowing out the Celtics at half time if it weren’t for Walkers great second quarter where he scored 24 of his 40 points in that quarter. Walker would finish shooting 14-23 for the night including 4-11 from three-point range and 8-9 from the foul line. The All-Star point guard would also add 11 rebounds to his stat line which was a season-high for him. Walker’s speed and great finishing ability kept the Celtics in it during the first half and helped lead the second half come back. But the first half deficit was just too much to overcome as the Celtics would fall to the Bucks 128-123.
3: Jayson Tatum vs LA Lakers Feb 23, 2020
This game in late February was game 2 of a 4 game west coast road trip. The Celtics would square off against their arch-rivals the LA Lakers. Without Kemba Walker in the lineup would need one of their young stars in either Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown to step up and try and match the duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. It turned out that Jayson Tatum, fresh off his first All-Star game would be the one to pick up the scoring load in a big way as he went off a new career-high of 41 points despite scoring just 1 point in the first quarter. Tatum’s great isolation game would lead to 12-20 shooting and 4-7 from three. His great handles and finishing ability were the real story as he would also finish 13-15 from the foul line. The young blossoming star would also chip in 5 rebounds and 2 blocks but his career-high scoring night was not enough as the Celtics would fall to their hated rivals 114-112. Tatum’s great night would be recognized by one of the leagues greats with his post-game embrace with LeBron James.
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