The duo combined to help Boston level their Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Milwaukee Bucks at 2-2. Horford finished Game 4 with a playoff career-high 30 points on 11-of-14 shooting from the field (78.6%). He also knocked down five-of-seven triples (another postseason career-high).
Horford’s display, combined with an impressive performance from Tatum, helped the Celtics record a 116-108 victory.
This was the first time Horford brought up the 30-point mark in the postseason, having played 131 playoff games prior to this. The 35-year-old is playing his 15th NBA season and his record playoff night couldn’t have come at a better time for the Celtics. Boston was desperate to take back home-court advantage with a Game 4 win and managed to do so.
Speaking after the come-from-behind victory, Jayson Tatum had nothing but high praise for the veteran five-time All-Star. Tatum told the media:
“Al’s been great for the team. He’s been great for me…I remember my rookie year and I was like ‘That’s Al Horford!’ It was great to see someone take care of his body, be a profession for all these years. I’m very fortunate to call Al a teammate.”
Al Horford, Jayson Tatum combine for 60 points as Celtics even series versus Milwaukee
Jayson Tatum and Horford carried the Celtics to victory in Milwaukee. The duo needed to put in excellent performances with Robert Williams ruled out due to left knee soreness and Jaylen Brown restricted by foul trouble.
Horford was the more consistent of the two players as he shot well throughout the game. Tatum, however, overcame a slow start to turn it on in the fourth quarter for the Celtics. While Horford scored 16 points in the final quarter, Tatum dropped 12 as the Celtics outscored Milwaukee 43-28 in the final 12 minutes to overcome a double-digit deficit.
Tatum and Horford became the first pair of Celtics teammates to each record 30-plus points in the same playoff game in 11 years. The last such instance came when Paul Pierce (38 points) and Ray Allen (32 points) did so in the 2011 postseason versus the New York Knicks.
Tatum’s 30-point showing along with his 13 rebounds was his first double-double of the conference semifinals. The three-time All-Star also posted his highest individual score of the series on Monday. This notably saw him move into fifth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list for players under 25.