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Tatum fueled by record-setting win streak, ‘didn't want to lose at home'

Tatum fueled by record-setting win streak, ‘didn't want to lose at home' originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Celtics got the best of the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night, securing a 127-120 overtime win. Going into the fourth quarter down six points, Jayson Tatum willed his team to come back from behind, forcing an overtime period that he would go on to dominate in.

Tatum put on a clinic in front of a packed home crowd, netting 45 points -- 18 of which came from beyond the arc. The 25-year-old wing couldn't be stopped on offense, shooting an efficient 50 percent from the field and converting on six of his 11 three-point shots. The Duke product also took full advantage of his free throws, nailing 13 of his 14 attempts.

The soon to be five-time All-Star kicked it into another gear and demanded the defense's full attention in the fourth quarter and overtime, scoring 26 of Boston's 48 points.

Tatum also found ways to contribute outside of scoring, additionally logging four rebounds, three assists, and a steal.

"You live for those moments," Tatum told NBC Sports Boston's Abby Chin following Boston's win. "You want to do whatever you can to help your team win."

Leading the Celtics on a 9-0 run to send the game to overtime, Tatum refused to let the Timberwolves run away with a win in regulation. Once in overtime, Tatum took ownership of the stat sheets, scoring 12 of the Celtic's 16 points.

"In the back of my mind I didn't want to lose at home yet," Tatum said of what fueled him late in the game. "We're still undefeated [at home], the crowd got behind us, the energy got going -- that was a fun ball game towards the end."

Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla also chimed in on the energy that the home crowd brings, saying, "It's [the win streak] because of the crowd... I'm not going to say we're 18-0 at home without that."

While the game stayed close through the first half, usually tied or within a point, Tatum admits the team came out sluggish, noting that they collectively as a group knew that they had to pick up the intensity, noting that a comeback would start with forcing stops defensively.

"I learned a lot," Tatum said of the overtime win. "I know that we're a really good team, and there's a lot that we can work on, but when we play the right way on both ends of the floor, we're pretty tough to beat."

Wednesday night's win now marks the Celtics' 18th home win in a row to start the season, making it a new franchise record.

The first place Celtics will look to extend their lead in the conference rankings on the road against the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. ET.