(Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

Tatum Matches Celtic Rookie Record, Shines In Game 7 Win

The Celtics advance to round 2 of the NBA Playoffs with a Game 7 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.

April 30, 2018 - 10:57 am

BOSTON (KMOX/AP) - Rookie Jayson Tatum has grown up fast over the past three weeks and is taking the Boston Celtics into the second round of the NBA Playoffs. He played a team-high 39 minutes in Saturday's 112-96 victory against the Milwaukee Bucks, helping Boston reach the Eastern Conference semifinals for the second straight year.

His 20 points (matching his age, 20-year-old) made him just the second rookie in Celtics' history to score 20 in a Game 7. In the regular season, he joined a list with Bob Cousy, John Havlicek, Larry Bird and Paul Pierce as the ninth rookie in Boston Celtics history to score 1,000 points. 

With Tatum's help, Boston improved to 20-4 all-time in Game 7s at home. The Celtics are 23-8 in Game 7 overall.

Tatum and the Celtics that have squeezed out their best basketball despite the multiple subtractions to their roster. Point guard Kyrie Irving hasn't played since March 11, same as forward Daniel Theis who was Boston's second-leading shot blocker this season. 

The St. Louis-native and Chaminade College Preparatory School graduate will likely have to continue his staring role as another would-be starter Jaylen Brown is nursing a hamstring injury and is doubtful to play in Game 1, Monday night. 

Boston, a No. 2 seed in the East hosts the No. 3 seeded Philadelphia 76ers.