How Jayson Tatum is making NBA history amid torrid stretch for Celtics

Darren Hartwell
NBC Sports Boston

It's a question that keeps coming up as Jayson Tatum keeps torching his opponents: Just how good is this guy?

The Celtics forward topped 30 points for the third consecutive game Wednesday night, hanging 33 on the Utah Jazz in Boston's 113-104 win. He's earning praise from LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony and other NBA standard-bearers.

But the best way to quantify Tatum's incredible success over the last several weeks is through cold, hard numbers.

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We'll start with the short term: Tatum has scored 30-plus points on 60 percent shooting or better in three straight contests. Add in two more criteria, and he's the first player in NBA history with such a three-game span.

Take out those criteria, and he's the first player 21 or younger with such a streak since Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O'Neal, and the first Celtics player in that club since Kevin McHale.

Want a larger sample size? Tatum is averaging 30.5 points per game on 51.4 percent shooting in the month of February. If he tops 30 in Saturday's game against the Houston Rockets, he'll join a two-person group of himself and Larry Bird.

Tatum also would become just the sixth Celtics player to average 30 points in a single month (regardless of shooting percentage):

Tatum already is an All-Star, but his February scoring binge has lifted him into the All-NBA conversation as one of the league's elite players: He's now 16th in the NBA in scoring (23.3 points per game) and tied for 10th in net rating (11.2).

So, what's caused the third-year forward to make the leap from promising prospect to NBA superstar? We'll leave you with this:

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Rockets-Celtics, which begins Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live. You can also stream on the MyTeams App.

How Jayson Tatum is making NBA history amid torrid stretch for Celtics originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

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