Discover more from Statitudes
NBA Game Notes (May 14, 2023)
Here are the NBA game notes for games that were played on May 14, 2023.
Tatum Makes History
Jayson Tatum scored 51 points — the most in a Game 7 in NBA history — as the Boston Celtics routed the Philadelphia 76ers 112-88 to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics and Miami Heat will face off in Game 1 in Boston on Wednesday.
It’s the second time Tatum has scored at least 50 points in a playoff game. He’s the only player in franchise history to record multiple such games. Tatum became the first player in NBA history to record a 50-point game in the regular season, All-Star Game, and playoffs in the same season.
Statitudes is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Tatum also grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds and handed out a team-high five assists. He’s just the fifth player in NBA history to record at least 50 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists in a playoff game:
Wilt Chamberlain (April 10, 1964)
Rick Barry (April 18, 1967)
Russell Westbrook (April 19, 2017)
Jamal Murray (Aug. 23, 2020)
Jayson Tatum (May 14, 2023)
Tatum is the only player above to do so in a series-clinching win.
Tatum shot 17-28 from the field — including 6-10 from 3-point range — and made 11 of his 14 free throws. It’s the second time Tatum has made at least 15 field goals, 10 free throws, and five 3-pointers in a playoff game. He’s the first player in NBA history to record multiple such games.
It’s the 20th time Tatum has scored at least 30 points in a playoff game. Only three other players in NBA history have reached that mark at the age of 25 years or younger: LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Kobe Bryant.
The second member of the Celtics’ dynamic duo, Jaylen Brown, scored 25 points on 9-19 shooting from the field. It’s the 11th time Tatum and Brown have each scored at least 25 points in the same playoff game, breaking a tie with John Havlicek and Sam Jones for the second-most such games in franchise history.
The Sixers’ Joel Embiid struggled in the loss, scoring 15 points on 5-18 shooting from the field (27.8%) and committing four turnovers. The only player in NBA history to shoot worse in a Game 7 in a season in which he was named MVP is Bob Cousy in the 1957 NBA Finals (2-20, 10.0%).
Teammate James Harden didn’t fare any better, making just three of his 11 attempts from the floor (27.3%) and committing a game-high five turnovers. It’s the sixth time in the last 10 games Harden has shot less than 30% from the field on 10 or more attempts. The last player to record at least six such games in a 10-game span in a single postseason was Cousy in 1960.
The Sixers were held to 10 points in the third period, tying the NBA record for fewest points scored in a quarter in a Game 7 in the shot-clock era. They also matched the lowest-scoring quarter in a playoff game in franchise history. The Celtics scored 33 points in the quarter for a 23-point differential, the largest in a single period in a Game 7 in NBA history.
This was the 16th time Sixers head man Doc Rivers has coached in a Game 7, five more such games than any other coach in NBA history. It’s the 10th time Rivers has lost a Game 7, five more than any other coach (Pat Riley, 5). Dating back to 2015, Rivers has lost each of his last five Game 7s, breaking a tie with Rick Adelman (2002-2009) for the longest such streak in NBA history.
This is the 33rd time one of Rivers’ teams has lost a potential closeout game, six more such losses than any other coach in NBA history. Rivers has an overall record of 17-33 in closeout games (.340), the worst such winning percentage in NBA history among the 22 coaches who have been involved in at least 20 such games:
.340 — Doc Rivers (17-33)
.459 — Lenny Wilkens (17-20)
.462 — Red Holzman (12-14)
.476 — John MacLeod (10-11)
.488 — Jerry Sloan (20-21)
Did you enjoy this free preview? Sign up for a 30-day free trial for more content like this delivered straight to your inbox. If you don’t like it, just cancel before the trial ends and your card won’t be charged.