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WATCH: Jayson Tatum scores 21 first-half points in rebound effort

Vincent Frank

Despite his Boston Celtics taking Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, Jayson Tatum struggled big time shooting the ball.

The reigning Eastern Confernce Finals MVP shot a mere 3-of-17 from the field in the opener. Despite adding 13 assists to the mix, Tatum just didn’t have his shot.

The forward knew that he’d have to step up if Boston were to take Game 2 and bring this back home with 2-0 series lead.

He was more than up to the task. After missing on four of his first five shots, Tatum brought it big time to close out the first half.

Related: Bold predictions for NBA Finals Game 2

All said, Tatum scored 21 points while grabbing five rebounds and dishing out three assists in the first half. That included a 5-of-7 mark from three-point range. Dude got it going with some tough shots.

Tatum knew what he was capable after struggling in the opener. It’s been a continuing theme throughout the Celtics’ playoff run. That is to say, rebounding after a terrible shooting performance.

“Once you’ve done something before, you know how to respond. I’ve had some bad shooting nights in the NBA. So it’s like, I’ve been here before. I know what to do next game.”

Jayson Tatum on what to expect from him in Game 2
  • Jayson Tatum stats (2022 NBA Playoffs): 26.2 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 6.3 APG, 43% shooting, 37% 3-point

Boston found itself down 52-50 at the half despite Tatum’s big first two quarters. If they are able to win Game 2, the Celtics will have a stranglehold on this series. It might be up to the Duke product to duplicate this after intermission.