Remember When: Jayson Tatum Dropped 39 Points on the Best Defender in the League

During this time of us not having any live Celtics games (or any other sports) to watch, I’ve decided to start a series called “Remember When.” This is, simply put, going to be a series in which I bring back some Celtics/sports-related memories. Hoping to allow us all to relive those feelings we had at the time.

So first up, why not go with Boston’s future himself… Jayson Tatum. I have a pretty good feeling that Tatum will be featured in this series fairly often. To get this underway, I’d like to throw it back to a more recent memory. Remember when Jayson Tatum dropped 39 points on Kawhi Leonard in a double-overtime win on February 13, 2020?

This was THE GAME that propelled Tatum into the bonafide superstar conversation. Sure, he had some huge nights prior to this game. However, when you have a guy like Kawhi Leonard covering you in the fourth quarter and you still find yourself making clutch bucket after clutch bucket, there is no denying the fact that you belong in this league. Not only was Tatum dropping in everything he shot, but he was also absolutely locking up Kawhi Leonard. Tatum was playing both ends superbly in a back-and-forth late-game situation against one of the best players and best teams in the entire league.

Tatum closed out the rest of the month (2/13-2/29) averaging 35 points and 9 rebounds a game. In fact, if you look at his entire month of February, he only had five games in which he dropped less than 30 points.

Celtics fans, I want you to think back to how JUICED you were after this game. Remember how excited you were for Tatum as well as the potential of this team? I know I was. Don’t let their recent absence get you down. Don’t let this crisis get in the way of how much you love this Celtics team. Just think back and remember when Jayson Tatum dropped 39 points on Kawhi Leonard in a double-overtime win on February 13, 2020.

Photo: JOHN TLUMACKI/GLOBE STAFF

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