Jayson Tatum knows a thing or two about performing with his back against the wall.
Tatum, who has advanced to the NBA Playoffs in each of his six seasons with the Celtics, has much more postseason experience than the typical 25-year-old. He’ll lean on that experience as Boston looks to become the first team to win a series after falling into a 3-0 hole.
Up to this point in his playoff career, Tatum has faced elimination 15 times. If the Celtics want to reach the NBA Finals for the second consecutive year, Tatum will have to tack on two more wins to an already impressive elimination game record.
As the Celtics attempt to do the improbable, Tatum’s history in elimination games is something they can lean on.
MORE: Why Celtics’ struggles at home stand in the way of series comeback
What is Jayson Tatum’s record in elimination games?
Tatum has faced elimination 15 times, including Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Tatum’s record in elimination games is 10-5, including a perfect 4-0 record in 2023.
The Celtics’ four wins when facing elimination is the most in a single postseason in franchise history.
This is the 1st time the Celtics have won 4 games facing elimination in a single postseason.
The last time Boston won 4 straight games facing elimination was when they won 5 straight from 1981-82. pic.twitter.com/R4dBcdE3lp
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 26, 2023
Jayson Tatum elimination game history
As the record indicates, Tatum is no stranger to playing with his team’s season on the line. Tatum has faced elimination in a number of situations, most notably the six Game 7s that he and the Celtics have played in since 2018.
Specific to each of the past two seasons, Tatum and the Celtics have faced a 3-2 deficit in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, advancing to the next round with two straight wins. Making those feats more impressive is that each Game 6 came on the road.
Over the past two seasons, Boston is 4-0 in elimination games on the road.
|2018 First Round||7||Celtics 112, Bucks 96|
|2018 East Finals||7||Cavaliers 87, Celtics 79|
|2019 East Semis||5||Bucks 116, Celtics 91|
|2020 East Semis||7||Celtics 92, Raptors 87|
|2020 East Finals||5||Celtics 121, Heat 108|
|2020 East Finals||6||Heat 125, Celtics 113|
|2021 First Round||5||Nets 123, Celtics 109|
|2022 East Semis||6||Celtics 108, Bucks 95|
|2022 East Semis||7||Celtics 109, Bucks 81|
|2022 East Finals||7||Celtics 100, Heat 96|
|2022 NBA Finals||6||Warriors 103, Celtics 90|
|2023 East Semis||6||Celtics 95, 76ers 86|
|2023 East Semis||7||Celtics 112, 76ers 88|
|2023 East Finals||4||Celtics 116, Heat 99|
|2023 East Finals||5||Celtics 110, Het 97|
Jayson Tatum stats in elimination games
Tatum has delivered some iconic performances in win-or-go-home scenarios, including one showing that rewrote the NBA’s history books.
|2018 First Round||7||20 PTS, 6 REB, 5 AST||112-96, W|
|2018 East Finals||7||24 PTS, 7 REB, 1 AST||87-79, L|
|2019 East Semis||5||14 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST||116-91, L|
|2020 East Semis||7||29 PTS, 12 REB, 7 AST||92-87, W|
|2020 East Finals||5||31 PTS, 10 REB, 6 AST||121-108, W|
|2020 East Finals||6||24 PTS, 7 REB, 11 AST||125-113, L|
|2021 First Round||5||32 PTS, 9 REB, 5 AST||123-109, L|
|2022 East Semis||6||46 PTS, 9 REB, 4 AST||108-95, W|
|2022 East Semis||7||23 PTS, 6 REB, 8 AST||109-81, W|
|2022 East Finals||7||26 PTS, 10 REB, 6 AST||100-96, W|
|2022 NBA Finals||6||13 PTS, 3 REB, 7 AST||103-90, L|
|2023 East Semis||6||19 PTS, 9 REB, 6 AST||95-86, W|
|2023 East Semis||7||51 PTS, 13 REB, 5 AST||112-88, W|
|2023 East Finals||4||33 PTS, 11 REB, 7 AST||116-99, W|
|2023 East Finals||5||21 PTS, 8 REB, 11 AST||TBD|
Through 15 elimination games, Tatum has posted averages of 27.1 points, 8.4 rebounds and 6.1 assists. His most iconic performances have come in the last two postseasons, beginning with a 46-point performance on the road when facing a 3-2 deficit against the Bucks in the 2022 Eastern Conference Semifinals.
This year, Tatum scored 16 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter to lead Boston past Philadelphia in the familiar situation of facing a 3-2 deficit on the road. He followed that by setting a Game 7 record with 51 points to lead the Celtics to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Staving off elimination in four straight Eastern Conference Finals games would cement Tatum’s place in the pantheon of high-stakes performers.
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