Paul Pierce sees Jayson Tatum, Giannis Antetokounmpo battle like his own vs. LeBron James in 2008

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Paul Pierce sees parallels in Tatum-Giannis battle to one of his own shootouts originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

When it comes to elimination games for the Boston Celtics, Paul Pierce has been there, done that.

Entering play Friday, Pierce owned two of the three highest-scoring performances by a Celtics player in a postseason game when facing elimination, including a 41-point masterpiece in Game 7 of the 2008 Eastern Conference semifinals against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

James was no slouch himself in that game, of course, dropping 45 points in a 97-92 Celtics win. The duel 14 seasons ago brought back memories for Pierce on Friday, when Jayson Tatum poured in 46 points for Boston in a 108-95 win over the Milwaukee Bucks to force a decisive seventh game -- with Giannis Antetokounmpo nearly matching Tatum bucket for bucket with a 44-point night of his own in defeat.

The situations weren't completely the same -- these Celtics needed to stave off elimination -- while Tatum's burst came at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee rather than TD Garden.

Pierce is spot on though in that the entire fourth quarter felt like Tatum vs. Antetokounmpo, two superstars at the height of their powers.

As Eddie House pointed out postgame on NBC Sports Boston, however, Pierce and James were guarding one another in the 2008 game. Tatum and Antetokounmpo were seldom, if ever, matched up defensively.

Nevertheless, Tatum finished a point shy of Sam Jones' team record 47 points in an elimination game.

Pierce wasn't the only one to take note of Tatum's performance, either. Fellow St. Louis native Bradley Beal also chimed in:

Tatum fell just shot of his personal best for scoring in the postseason, trailing only his 50-point showing in a first round game against the Brooklyn Nets last season.