NBA

Tatum has 'fun at Christmas' after helping Celtics to win against Bucks

By Sports Desk December 26, 2022

Jayson Tatum said it was "fun playing on Christmas" after excelling for the Boston Celtics in the victory against the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Christmas Day clash at TD Garden saw the two teams with the best records in the NBA this season collide, with Boston running out 139-118 victors.

Tatum posted 41 points with seven rebounds and five assists, scoring 20 points in the third quarter alone.

"It's fun. It's fun playing on national TV; it's fun playing on Christmas," Tatum said. "And those matchups are fun. You get to play against the other best players, and it just raises your level of play.

"The competition is exciting, but that's the game that you live for. The moments, the matchups, if you can't get up for those games, then you're probably in the wrong profession."

The Celtics appear to be back on track, recording back-to-back wins after a run of five defeats in six, and moving on to a record of 24-10.

"It did feel good to get back to playing the way we know how to play," Tatum added. "We have the emotional understanding of it [being] a long season, and there's going to be great stretches and there's going to be some bad ones. But not letting the bad ones snowball effect and getting back on track sooner than later. It helps when we make shots too."

Tatum has scored at least 30 points in his last five games and is averaging 30.9 for the season, fifth in the league behind only Joel Embiid (33.1), Luka Doncic (32.8), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (31.6) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (31.2), who the Celtics restricted to 27 points on Sunday.

"It's definitely an honour. I've said many times how much I love being here and what it means to play on Christmas, [this is my] sixth year in a row and something I never want to take for granted," Tatum said.

"As a kid, that was part of the tradition: Eat, be with family, watch all the games and try to envision myself playing out there one day. Now I get to do that."

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