The Rundown: Celtics win after epic Curry-Tatum showdown

Published April 18, 2021, 3:00 PMChuck Araneta

The Celtics emerge victorious after a breathtaking back and forth action from Jayson Tatum and the Warriors' Steph Curry.


Lakers 127, Jazz 115 (OT)
Wizards 121, Pistons 100
Bulls 106, Cavs 96
Celtics 119, Warriors 114
Grizzlies 128, Bucks 115
Spurs 111, Suns 85

What went down


On one side was Steph Curry, the golden boy with hands that are less for shooting basketballs than they are for launching flamethrowers that can sink entire franchises and win entire games. There he was inside the TD Garden testing the limits of a man’s imagination for how many different ways there are to launch a ball into the hoop from 10 feet behind the three-point line. 

An absolutely immaculate performance wherein he registered a staggering 47 points on a ridiculous 11 3-pointers made in 19 attempts. All part of Curry’s dominating scoring run as of late. His 11 triples are part of 44 in only five games, the most in NBA history.

On the other side was Jayson Tatum, still a puppy by NBA years, yet already an incredible basketball player. The number of tricks in his bag is ridiculous. Against the Warriors, he was hitting fall-away 3-pointers at the buzzer, turnaround jumpers in post-up position, and aggressive drives to the rim sending defenders away because of his chiseled frame.

The two figured in one of the most memorable games of the season, which the Celtics eventually won rallying back from as many as 16 points, 119-114. Tatum and Curry were the main story, as Tatum’s 44 points helped the C’s withstand the Dubs anchored on Curry’s game-high 47 points.

It was a classic gunslinger showdown between two of the most effortless scorers in the game today. But what made it fun was the contrast in styles. While everyone waited with bated breath to see how far Curry could launch 3-pointers, the dynamism and unpredictable attacks of Tatum kept everyone guessing what he was going to do next.

Ultimately, Tatum had just enough help from teammates like Cardiac Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart to pull off the victory. But make no mistake about it – after this type of performance, everyone who witnessed it definitely came away with a W of their own.

Look at Steph and Jayson, man. So inspirational.

Big-time baller

Too many to choose from in what was an awesome day of basketball. Curry and Tatum did their thing. Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook are dragging the Wizards back into play-in contention as Westbrook notched another triple-double, while Beal had a game-high 37 points in the win over the Pistons.

But we have to give props to Grayson Allen of the Memphis Grizzlies, who knocked down seven triples to finish with 26 points in the Grizzlies’ impressive 126-115 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Did you see that?

Every squad needs a Juan Toscano-Anderson in their lineup. The guy who will risk it all for one possession and an opportunity to impact the game. In the midst of an intense back and forth contest, JTA sacrificed himself to save the ball from going out of bounds, flying across the scorers’ table. The ball fell in the hands of Curry, who calmly knocked down a triple. Toscano-Anderson exited the game due to lacerations on the head, and was later diagnosed with a concussion. Unfortunately, the Warriors ended up losing but those are the kind of winning plays that help build up everyone on the team.

What he said

Steph Curry went out of his way to praise Jayson Tatum after their incredible duel. You love to see it. 

"You can tell the game has slowed down for him, just in the way he picks and chooses his spots and how he kind of manages the game. He's shooting the ball a lot better from the perimeter, but when that game slows down, I don't know if it's four or five years in whatever he is, that's when you become lethal. With his skillset, his size, their system features him, so he's a supreme talent. A supreme talent."