Celtics’ Jayson Tatum extends December’s red-hot scoring form with season-high 42 points against Bucks

Hosting the defending champions on Monday night, the Celtics were riding a three-game losing streak but they did have something else going for them – Jayson Tatum’s recent hot stretch. 

The 6-foot-8 forward erupted for a season-high 42 points, 16 of which came in the final quarter as he iced the game and led Boston to the 117-102 win. Of the remaining 31 points, he scored 21 in the middle two quarters when Boston took control of the game by outscoring Milwaukee by 20 (64-44). 

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Tatum’s points tally was a game-high and his impact was displayed by his plus-minus of +21 in 38 minutes of action. Along with his 42, he also recorded five rebounds, four assists and three steals. 

This is the eighth 40-point game of his career, tying him with Tom Heinsohn for the fourth-most in franchise history. 

En route to 42, Tatum knocked down seven 3-pointers which is also a season-high and just one shy of his career-high. Efficiency has got to be the most pleasing takeaway from this game for Tatum, the Celtics and their fans. 

In a season, where the All-Star is shooting career-lows from the field (42.3 percent) and beyond the arc (33.9 percent), he scored 42 on 64.0 percent shooting from the field and 53.8 percent from 3-point range (7-of-13). 

A huge reason for his efficiency in this game was his shot selection. Take a look at how few mid-range shots Tatum attempted while going a spectacular 8-of-9 in the paint

(Getty Images)

This explosion against the defending champions is part of Tatum’s red-hot December, where he leads the league in total points, with 223 through seven games. Trae Young, the player ranked second behind Tatum, trails by 39 points having played one game less. 

During this stretch, the Celtics wing has recorded three 30-point games (at Lakers, at Trail Blazers, at Jazz). For the season, he has recorded 11 30-point games which is tied for the most in the league (as of Monday, Dec. 13) with the Young and Kevin Durant. 

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