Duke basketball: Jayson Tatum, Celtics unable to overcome putrid half

Duke basketball star Jayson Tatum (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Duke basketball star Jayson Tatum (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Boston Celtics and Jayson Tatum were unable to overcome a putrid first half from the former Duke basketball star.

The term “a tale of two halves” is often used too much when talking about a sporting event, but it’s the only phrase to use when describing Jayson Tatum‘s performance in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Tatum was putrid in the first half on Wednesday night against the Miami Heat.

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An 0-for-6 showing came in the first 24 minutes where the All-Star looked lifeless, deflated, and even injured despite three days off between Game Three and Game Four.

However, it was a completely different player once the second half began.

Tatum finished the game with 28 points on 10-of-22 shooting from the field and 4-of-11 shooting from 3-point range, but the Celtics fell to Miami, 112-109, as the Heat now hold a commanding 3-1 lead in the series.

The former Blue Devil also finished the game with nine rebounds, four assists, three blocks, and an assist.

Following the loss, Tatum told the assembled media that his scoreless first half was “unacceptable” and it was the first time he had not scored a point in a half this season.

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Despite his scoreless first half, Jayson Tatum still led the Celtics in scoring, but things could have been different if the former No. 3 overall pick was able to get some shots to fall in the opening two quarters or if Boston was able to defend Heat rookie Tyler Herro, who poured in 37 points for Miami in its victory.

Jayson Tatum and the Celtics will now face elimination for the second time this postseason as Boston was able to defeat the Toronto Raptors in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Semifinals where the Blue Devil tallied 29 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists in the victory.

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Game Five of the series is scheduled for Friday, September 25 at 8:30pm EST on ESPN.