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27th Apr 2022

“It’s your mother******* time!” – No hard feelings as Kyrie Irving crowns Jayson Tatum

Patrick McCarry

Jayson Tatum

“Ah, it was bound to happen one day!”

Jayson Tatum has been coming and coming and coming. Against the Brooklyn Nets, he arrived, and parked his car sideways across the other V.I.P spots.

Boston Celtics versus Brooklyn Nets was teed up as a potential all-timer when it came to first round playoff matches.

The Celtics had started their season slowly but got their defensive act together and had the likes of Jalen Brown, Robert Williams III and Jayson Tatum logging in with big, meaningful minutes. The Nets had been leading the way, earlier in the season, until Kevin Durant had gone down injured.

Steve Nash’s side traded the want-away James Harden for Ben Simmonds, but also got Andre Drummond and Seth Curry. They got Kyrie Irving back for all the playoffs, too, as the vaccine reticent point guard was allowed to play in Brooklyn with Covid restrictions easing.

Many were predicting this one could go to a game seven, especially when Williams injured his knee.

In the end, the closer contest came between Kevin Durant and Charles Barkley – one going off on Instagram while the old-school baller was using his ‘NBA on TNT’ television platform to wax lyrical.

The first game of the series was as good as everyone had hoped. Durant was good, Irving was better and Tatum was best. The Celtics forward laid-up for the first ever playoffs buzzer-beating winner in Celtics history, on their home court.

“It’s your mother******* time!”

The rest of the series was a foregone conclusion. The superior defence of the Celtics threw off the Nets and they were poor in games two and three.

With their season on the line, in game four, both Durant [47] and Irving [45] logged big minutes. They also combined for 59 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds. Still, it was not enough. Tatum had 118 points across the four games and was immense in attack and defence in each one.

Nic Claxon had free-throw yips and missed on 10 of his 11 visits to the line. Durant had dropped his first 10 free throws but, with the Nets trailing by two points with the clock running down, he hit the rim and the Celtics rebounded, before going down the court for the insurance score. It was games, series and season over for the Brooklyn Nets.

Following the game, TV cameras caught a couple of genuine, heartfelt exchanges between Tatum and the Nets duo of Durant and Tatum. Durant has long talked up the Celtics star as a guaranteed star of the NBA, and the pair exchanged a big hug and a few words before Irving approached.

Irving and Tatum had been teammates, previously, with the Celtics and there is clearly no bad blood between them. As they embraced, Irving declared:

“Ah, it was bound to happen one day!”

“It’s your mother******* time!”

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Boston will face the winners of the Milwaukee Bucks vs. Chicago Bulls in round two.

Whoever wins that will face either Miami Heat or the winners of Philadelphia 76ers vs. Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals.