In their matchup at TD Garden on Christmas Day with the Milwaukee Bucks, Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics were not in a giving mood. Tatum outscored Giannis Antetokounmpo 41-27 in the 139-118 rout of the Bucks by the Celtics, who also won by a score of 139.
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) December 26, 2022
Tatum has developed the habit of consistently outperforming MVP opponents across the NBA by either outscoring them or guiding Boston to win in their matchups. In these encounters, the Celtics are 7-0, and Tatum has outscored five of his seven opponents.
Tatum has scored more points than Giannis of the Bucks, Devin Booker of the Suns, Nikola Jokic of the Nuggets, Ja Morant of the Grizzlies, and Joel Embiid of the 76ers combined. Tatum has been outscored in games by the Mavericks’ Luka Doncic (5 points) and the Nets’ Kevin Durant (2 points), but both of his teams lost.
Together, Tatum and Jaylen Brown scored 70 points in the victory over the Bucks. Tatum had a spectacular shooting day, connecting on 14 of 22 attempts, including 3 of 7 from beyond the arc for the Celtics. Brown made 11 of his 19 attempts, including 5 of his 9 3-point attempts.
Tatum also recorded 3 steals, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists. Giannis also played well, scoring 27 points, grabbing 9 rebounds, and dishing out 3 assists, but he lacked Jayson Tatum’s mental acuity. Giannis made 9 of his 22 field goal attempts, but just 1 of his 5 attempts from beyond the arc.
Following a slump in which they dropped 5 of 6 games, the Celtics have won 2 straight games and seem to be on the mend. The Bucks’ current losing run of three games is the longest of the year.