Tatum’s first sack: ‘Best game ever’

NEW YORK – A frustrating night for Jayson Tatum ended early, as the Boston Celtics star was given his second technical foul and his first career ejection with 3 minutes, 46 seconds left in the fourth quarter of a 109-game winning streak. -94 New York Knicks Monday at a sold-out Madison Square Garden.

“I don’t know,” said Tatum, when asked what led to his ejection in this game, compared to the previous seasons he had already made mistakes.

Then he smiled.

“But all great players are thrown at some point in their lives,” he said. “So, it’s good for my agent.”

Tatum spent most of the game frustrated, as he not only didn’t like the way the whistle was coming his way — he made just one pass, a technical shot — but also finished the game 6-for-18. . from the field.

After taking his first technical with 44 seconds to go in the third quarter to take offense to a foul call on a dunk, he responded to a foul call on a missed 3-point attempt with a layup sarcasm. that would make a New Yorker proud and it earned him an early trip to the shower.

“It’s hard,” Tatum said. “First, there is no call. If you look, it is very clear. And these are the tough ones. You get the skill for something that you must have been right. [On the] Second, I just told him that this was probably the best game I’ve ever been in.

“I tried to compliment him, I didn’t go over well.”

When asked again about that line, Tatum said, “I said it was the best game I’ve ever been in. I mean it.”

The Celtics, as a whole, were not happy with the way the game went from the officiating level, after New York finished with a score of 34-14 in the penalty shootout.

Asked before Monday’s game if he saw any problems with Saturday’s win at Philadelphia, when the 76ers held a similar 35-12 advantage in shooting. Joe Mazzulla said he didn’t.

When asked if he feels the same way about this game, Mazzula paused.

“How can I say this without getting in trouble,” he said, before finally pausing to say, “It’s not the same as the Philly game.”

Ultimately, though, the voting disparity has nothing to do with the fact that the Knicks outshot the Celtics by nine behind the 3-point arc, and Boston finished a poor 9-for-42 from deep.

“I think we lost some good looks,” Mazzula said. “They do a good job of putting pressure on the paint, and making free throws, so if you can’t make a shot, you have to keep the ball. [them attacking the] paint, and they put pressure on our defense.

“I just didn’t think it was our night.”

However, it was a New York night, as the Knicks won their sixth game in a row to overtake their overseas rivals, the Brooklyn Nets – who visited Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night – for fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings.

The Knicks got 23 points from All-Star forward Julius Randle, another 23 off the bench from Immanuel Quickley and a strong showing from recent acquisition Josh Hart (12 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists) as New York advanced. and taking Tom Thibodeau’s original team.

“I would say, we have a team of leaders and we have a team of gym rats,” the Knicks coach said. “So, you don’t have to tell them, ‘Oh, we have to work hard.’ If you get tough guys, they’re going to be tough in practice, they’re going to be tough in game, you’re not going to kill them. I doubt I’ll ever say to Josh Hart, ‘You’ve got to be tough now.’ And I think we have the right type of guys.”

These two teams will meet again on Sunday in Boston – with the Celtics hosting the Cleveland Cavaliers (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) on Wednesday and the Nets on Friday in between. Despite being hit by his first sack, and seeing the Milwaukee Bucks pull within a point of the Celtics for the NBA’s best record, Tatum said he was happy to go home, as Boston had not played a home game since the loss. facing. Memphis Grizzlies on Super Bowl Sunday.

“Go home,” Tatum said, when asked where his mind was. “I haven’t been home in two weeks. I miss my bed, Deuce. Just come home, have a home cooked meal and prepare for Wednesday.”

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