With eight seconds left in the Celtics’ Game Two victory over the Pacers on Wednesday, Jayson Tatum threw down a thunderous two-handed slam. He was fouled as he rose to the rim, so the forward added a free throw to seal the win.
It was a fine dunk, punctuated by a celebratory chest bump with Jaylen Brown. But it was not the posterizing slam Tatum had over LeBron James in Game 7 of the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals. On that occasion, the rookie climbed above the Cleveland Cavaliers star, then bumped James in the chest once he returned to earth.
Tatum keeps a reminder of that posterization close.
In an interview Tuesday with the New York Times, Tatum said, “I’ve got a big-ass picture of it in my house.”
— NBA (@NBA) May 28, 2018
Although Tatum noted in the past that he’s probably watched it “two million times,” he has not talked to James about the play. The Cavaliers moved on to the Finals after beating the Celtics by eight points in that series decider.
“They won so they got the last laugh,” Tatum said.
Through two games this postseason, Tatum is averaging 20.5 points on 6-for-9 shooting from the three-point line. He had 26 points in Game 2, before bringing his 16-month-old son, Deuce, to the postgame podium. Tatum told the Times that a daily pregame nap with his son has helped calm his nerves.
Tatum and the Celtics face the Pacers in Indiana at 8:30 p.m. Friday.