Duke basketball: Celtics thrilled with brutal showing from Jayson Tatum

Duke basketball product Jayson Tatum did not play well in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. 

It’s not often when there is so much optimism around a team when its best players puts up a clunker in Game 1 of the NBA Finals but the Boston Celtics are thrilled with how poorly Duke basketball product Jayson Tatum played on Thursday night.

Tatum was 3-of-17 from the floor and 1-of-5 from 3-point range against the Golden State Warriors but the Eastern Conference Champions found a way to overcome his struggled for a 120-108 victory.

Boston outscored Golden State 40-16 in the fourth quarter after the Warriors led by as many as 15 points in the third quarter, but Jayson Tatum did not score in the final 12 minutes.

ALSO READ: Duke recruit vying for roster spot on Team USA

Five of the 12 points that Tatum scored came from the free throw line but the former Blue Devil contributed in other aspects of the game with 13 assists and five rebounds while only committing two turnovers in 42 minutes of action.

The 13 assists set a new record for a player making his NBA Finals debut.

Following the victory, Tatum said he felt “ecstatic” after not having his usual offensive output but his team still found a way to win.

Duke basketball star poised for a big Game 2

Jayson Tatum typically responds to a poor shooting night with a lethal outing in the next game in this postseason as the Eastern Conference Finals Most Valuable Player will look to lead the charge in Game 2 for the Boston Celtics.

Tatum scored just 10 points in Boston’s Game 3 loss against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals and followed with 31 points, his highest scoring output of the series, in Game 4.

ALSO READ: Duke makes needed adjustment to recruiting class

The All-NBA superstar also scored 10 points in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Milwaukee Bucks and responded with 30 points in Game 4 for the Celtics.

Boston and Golden State will get two days off before taking the court in San Francisco for Game 2 on Sunday night at 8:00pm EST (ABC).