How the Celtics beat the Lakers on Christmas Day, led by Jayson Tatum and Kristaps Porziņģis

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Gary A. Vasquez / USA Today

LOS ANGELES — Jayson Tatum has been going up against LeBron James his full career. Tatum arrived successful nan convention arsenic a skinny finesse midrange scorer, a subordinate who needed to wholly germinate respective times to go much than personification who conscionable gets buckets.

Then he "boomed" LeBron James. Suddenly, nan world realized location was much to his game. A small much than half a decade later, finesse midrange scorer isn’t moreover a portion of his crippled anymore. Just for illustration James, he’s now defined by each nan things he does too hitting those shots.

"It's conscionable not being defined by conscionable scoring, but being defined by playmaking. Being defined by really do you create advantages for your teammates and yourself," coach Joe Mazzulla said aft nan Boston Celtics hit nan Los Angeles Lakers 126-115 to decorativeness their roadworthy travel and clasp onto nan NBA’s champion grounds astatine 23-6. "I deliberation arsenic you get amended arsenic a player, I show them, like, nan different team's paid to extremity you. So I don't cognize why you deliberation that is conscionable going to beryllium that easy for you."

That was clear connected Christmas, arsenic some Tatum and James couldn’t deed a changeable arsenic nan defenses honed their crippled plans to support them astatine bay. Yet they still recovered ways to return complete and power nan game. This was 1 of those nights erstwhile Tatum showed really acold he’s come, matching James play for play.

"Gotta springiness LeBron a batch of credit. He's been nan astir complete subordinate successful nan crippled for a very, very agelong time. It's a batch that you tin study from a feline for illustration him," Tatum said. "Obviously, nan measurement that he thinks nan crippled two, 3 steps up of everybody else. And arsenic a younger player, conscionable ever trying to find ways to effect nan game. You're not ever going to make shots but still want to beryllium nan champion subordinate and predominate nan crippled successful different ways each azygous night. So that's what I tried to do tonight."

Read nan remainder of my communicative from Boston's triumph here.

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