Duke basketball: Jayson Tatum disappears in critical fourth quarter

Duke basketball forward Jayson Tatum (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Duke basketball forward Jayson Tatum (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

It was a complete no-show for the Duke basketball star in the fourth quarter of the NBA Finals. 

The Boston Celtics were surging and former Duke basketball superstar Jayson Tatum was leading the charge.

In a quarter which has been dominated by the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, Boston flipped the script in the third quarter and turned a 16-point deficit into a five point lead and looked ready to surge into the final 12 minutes and regain its series lead.

Then, Jordan Poole banked in a buzzer beater to end the quarter to give the Warriors a one point lead and completely halt the momentum of the Celtics.

It was the biggest quarter in the career of Tatum and he was no where to be found.

Poor offensive possessions, turnovers, porous defense, technical fouls, missed free throws, and emotions pouring out all over the floor.

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You name it, the Celtics did not do it well in the fourth quarter in San Francisco on Monday night.

Jayson Tatum was 1-for-5 from the field in the fourth quarter for five points with no rebounds, assists, steals, or blocks.

The former Blue Devil was 1-for-2 from 3-point range in the final frame and 2-of-4 from the free throw line.

Golden State took full advantage of the Boston miscues and took a 3-2 series lead with its 104-94 victory.

Despite his fourth quarter struggles, Jayson Tatum was the game’s leading scorer with 27 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists on 10-of-20 shooting from the field and 5-of-9 from 3-point range.

However, the two-time All-Star was just 2-of-6 from the charity stripe.

Duke basketball superstar continues to struggle against stifling defense

The defense of the Golden State Warriors has made nothing easy for Jayson Tatum in the NBA Finals and nothing makes that more clear than the fourth quarters performances in the last two games.

Prior to Monday’s struggles, Tatum also came up small when Boston had a chance to take a 3-1 series lead on Friday night.

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The 24-year old was 1-for-5, again, in the fourth quarter as the Celtics were held to just 19 points in the quarter and the Warriors won, 107-97.

Tatum has committed 95 turnovers this postseason, the most of any player in the postseason in NBA History, according to StatMuse, as well as shooting a combined 5-for-21 in the fourth quarter throughout the series.

Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics will look to keep its season alive and send the NBA Finals to a decisive Game Seven with a Game Six victory on Thursday, June 16 at 9:00pm EST (ABC).

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