NBA Playoffs: Jayson Tatum’s 51-point performance propels the Boston Celtics to a series victory.
The Boston Celtics advanced to the NBA Eastern Conference finals with a 112-88 game-seven victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Tatum’s 51 points broke Golden State’s Stephen Curry’s game-seven record of 50 points set against the Sacramento Kings earlier this month.
He also had 13 rebounds, five assists, and two steals.
Boston will now face the Miami Heat, whom they defeated in seven games in the conference finals last year.
The first game of the series will be played on Thursday at 01:30 BST.
The Celtics defense limited NBA Most Valuable Player Joel Embiid to 15 points.
Boston, led by Jaylen Brown, outscored the 76ers 33-10 in the third quarter to break open a close game.
Philadelphia went six minutes without a basket in the third and trailed by 26 going into the fourth, when Boston extended its advantage to 30 with less than four minutes to play after Tatum was removed from the game.
“It felt great,” Tatum said, according to ESPN. “This was a two-part series. Obviously, I didn’t perform well in the first half of the previous game, and I was just glad to get another chance to prove myself.
“To return home, Mother’s Day game seven.” I had to put on a spectacular show for her.”
It was another heartbreaking play-off exit for the 76ers, who were led by Tobias Harris’ 19 points while star guard James Harden scored just nine points despite shooting 37.3% from the field.