Duke basketball: Near triple-double from Jayson Tatum not enough for C’s

Former Duke basketball star Jayson Tatum’s near triple-double was not enough for the Boston Celtics.

The most compelling Conference Semifinals matchup is headed to a Game Seven thanks to an outstanding double-overtime performance from the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors.

However, unfortunately for the Celtics, they were unable to capitalize on a near triple-double performance from their All-Star and former Duke Blue Devil Jayson Tatum.

Tatum, who had never posted three straight double-doubles in his short postseason career, achieved that feat with 29 points and 14 rebounds in 51 minutes played while also falling one assist shy of his first career playoff triple-double with nine assists.

Boston failed to close out the Raptors, while leading the series 3-2, as Toronto mounted a comeback to win Game Six,125-112, in 2OT.

Jayson Tatum was 9-of-21 from the field, 4-of-8 from 3-point range, and 7-of-10 from the free throw line with two blocks and two steals.

As the focus now shifts to Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Tatum has played in two winner-take-all games in his NBA career, both coming in his rookie season.

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Without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, the Milwaukee Bucks took the Celtics to Game Seven in the First Round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs, and Tatum posted 20 points, six rebounds, five assists, and one block on 7-of-17 shooting from the floor in a 112-96 victory.

Later in that postseason, the Boston Celtics were one game shy of the NBA Finals without their two projected stars entering the season, but LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers had other plans for the young Celtics.

Despite dunking on arguably the greatest player of all time, Tatum and the Celtics fell, 87-79, as the rookie went for 24 points and seven rebounds in 42 minutes on 9-of-17 shooting.

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Can the Boston Celtics reach the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since that 2018 NBA Playoffs or will the Toronto Raptors continue their run trying to defend their NBA Championship?

All eyes will be on the bubble on Friday night as the Celtics and Raptors tipoff at 9:00pm EST on TNT.

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