Jayson Tatum’s 50 points lead Boston to must win vs. Nets in NBA playoffs

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Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) drives to the basket past Brooklyn Nets’ Blake Griffin, right, as Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) and Celtics center Tristan Thompson (13) watch during the third quarter of Game 3 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Friday, May 28, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

BOSTON (AP) – Jayson Tatum scored a playoff career-high 50 points to carry the Boston Celtics back into their series against the Brooklyn Nets with a 125-119 victory on Friday night in Game 3.

In an emotionally charged atmosphere with the fans booing and chanting at Kyrie Irving every time he was involved in something, Tatum displayed an array of drives, step-back jumpers and 3-pointers to cut the Nets’ lead to 2-1.

After scoring 50 points in Boston’s play-in tournament victory, Tatum struggled in the two games in Brooklyn but steadied the Celtics in Game 3 after the Nets shot out to a quick 15-point lead.

It was Irving’s first game in front of Boston’s fans since he left via free agency in 2019.

James Harden led the Nets with 41 points, Kevin Durant had 39 and Irving finished with 16 on 6-of-17 shooting.

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