MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – MAY 13: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics celebrates a basket against Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks during the third quarter in Game Six of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals at Fiserv Forum on May 13, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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The Celtics needed to win Game 6 to stay alive against the Bucks and Jayson Tatum went toe-to-toe with Giannis Antetokounmpo in an epic duel to do so.
With the Boston Celtics facing elimination and traveling to Milwaukee for Game 6 in their second round series against the Bucks, the call from many fans was simple: It’s time for Jayson Tatum to show he’s a superstar and step up.
Suffice it to say he did that — but not without some resistance from the Bucks’ own superstar, Giannis Antetokounmpo.
It was an epic clash between two superstars putting on a show and operating at peak capacity on Friday night. Antetkounmpo had a monster night with 44 points, 20 rebounds and six assists. But Tatum wouldn’t be outdone as he clutched up with 46 points, nine boards and four assists, including dominating in the fourth quarter to help give the Celtics a crucial win that forces a Game 7 in the series.
Jayson Tatum outduels Giannis Antetokounmpo to give Celtics Game 6: NBA Twitter reacts
After such a monstrous performance from two superstars on a huge stage, NBA Twitter couldn’t help but applaud the duel and appreciate it.
Jayson Tatum is the glue holding my life together
— Kylie Cheung (@kylietcheung) May 14, 2022
Tatum went Kobe in that 4th quarter, love to see it ☘️
— Spose (@spizzyspose) May 14, 2022
Tatum went off.. but y’all realize Giannis had 2 points less than Tatum in Game 6.
This is NBA Playoffs!!!
— Justice P. Sikakane, Sr. (@JusticeSikakane) May 14, 2022
Jayson Tatum has been ’bout it since his first postseason run as a rookie. His game has grown immensely, much like his shoulders, but he’s always been prepared to shine when the lights are the brightest. Wasn’t scared then. Believes he can’t be stopped now.
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) May 14, 2022
I appreciate watching greatness….Giannis & Jason Tatum put on a SHOW!! 👏🏿
— Damien Woody (@damienwoody) May 14, 2022
That’s going to be a Jayson Tatum game we talk about for quite some time.
— Tom Westerholm (@Tom_NBA) May 14, 2022
I thought Giannis was going to close it out Tonight but Jayson Tatum had other plans! The young man went scratch with a 46 piece spicy all flats with the W! Carry the hell on…
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) May 14, 2022
Can we stop the game to game analysis now?
Jayson Tatum is one of the best handful of players in the NBA.
He showed that – again- tonight.
— Mike Mutnansky (@MutWEEI) May 14, 2022
Even better, there’s more coming as the Celtics’ victory forced Game 7 in the series.
As great as the two stars were, particularly Tatum in the fourth quarter for Boston, it was the Celtics getting help around their star that might’ve made the difference.
While Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown put up 21 and 22 points respectively to aid their teammate, only one Bucks starter outside of Giannis put up more than six points (Jrue Holiday with 17) and Pat Connaughton was the only other player for Milwaukee in double figures.
If the Bucks want to advance further to defend their title with a win in Game 7 in Boston, they’ll need more than just the Greek Freak to help forge that path.