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NBA ALL STAR 2023

What record did Jayson Tatum break in the 2023 NBA All-Star Game?

Team Giannis took the win over Team LeBron on Sunday but it was a Boston Celtics star who took the headlines.

Update:
Team Giannis took the win over Team LeBron on Sunday but it was a Boston Celtics star who took the headlines.
PATRICK T. FALLONAFP

There was Anthony Davis. There was Steph Curry. And now there is Jayson Tatum. Some seriously impressive scoring in Sunday night’s exhibition NBA All-Star’s game had fans off their seats, and the record-book writers writing.

Tatum never anticipated becoming the record-holder for most points scored in the NBA All-Star Game. But the Boston Celtics star noticed he was hotter than lava during his stellar third quarter and he wasn’t about to stop shooting. Tatum finished the contest with 55 points, knocked down 10 3-pointers and earned MVP honors while leading Team Giannis to a 184-175 victory over Team LeBron on Sunday night in the annual showcase game at Salt Lake City.

Tatum hits record 55 in 2023 All-Star Game

Tatum surpassed the 52 points set by Anthony Davis in 2017. He also set a record for points in a quarter when he scored 27 in the third.

“It means the world,” Tatum said of breaking Davis’ mark. “You think of all the legends and great players that have played this game. In all honesty, records are made to be broken. I’ll hold it as long as I can but I’m certain somebody will come along in a couple years and try to break it.

Tatum was 22-of-31 shooting and also contributed 10 rebounds and six assists. His 10 treys are second in All-Star history behind the 16 that Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors made in last season’s game. He also received stiff competition from Donovan Mitchell of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The former Utah Jazz star was pumped up to play in his former home arena and made eight 3-pointers while delivering 40 points and 10 assists for Team Giannis.

But Tatum got so hot that Mitchell could only watch in amazement.

“We were talking about, like ‘let’s go get it,” Mitchell said of the scoring mark and MVP honors. “At the end of the day, he caught fire. ... It is one of those things you’ve really got to appreciate.”

Lillard drops winning points for Team Giannis

Tatum split two free throws to get point No. 53 and make it 177-162. Davis played for the New Orleans Pelicans when he set the record. He became the eighth different player in Celtics history to win All-Star MVP honors but the first since Larry Bird in 1982. The list includes two-time winner Bob Cousy (1954, 1957) and Bill Russell (1963).

Despite all his heroics, it wasn’t Tatum who knocked down the final shot. It was Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers who drained the decisive 3-pointer, enabling Team Giannis to surpass the target score of 182. Lillard also made eight 3-pointers while scoring 26 points.

Jaylen Brown of the Celtics led Team LeBron with 35 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Kyrie Irving of the Dallas Mavericks had 32 points and 15 assists and Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers also scored 32 points for Team LeBron. LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers missed the second half after injuring his right hand in the first half. James hit his pinky finger on the rim while trying to block a shot by Pascal Siakam of the Toronto Raptors.

“I tried to get one little chase-down block and I got my finger caught in the rim,” James said. “But I’ll be fine. I don’t think it is too much to worry about but for precautionary reasons, I had to take the rest of the night off.”

James, who scored 13 points in 14-plus minutes while serving as captain of Team LeBron, shares the All-Star selections record of 19 with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He fell to 5-1 as an All-Star captain. Also, Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo scored the game’s first points on a dunk 15 seconds into the contest and then exited for the night. The captain of Team Giannis sprained his right wrist in Milwaukee’s final regular-season game before the break on Thursday night. He is now 1-2 as a captain.

Tatum (27 points), Mitchell (14) and Lillard (14) combined for 55 of Team Giannis’ 59 third-quarter points as the squad took a 158-141 advantage. Tatum was 10 of 14 from the field in the quarter, including 7 of 11 from 3-point range.

“I’d be lying if I thought I was going to get 55,” Tatum said. “But I got hot in that third quarter and kept going.”

Another third-quarter highlight was Lillard stopping just short of the halfcourt line and swishing the long-range shot to make it 142-125 with 4:10 left in the period. There wasn’t much defense played in the contest -- except for the latter moments of the third quarter when Tatum and Brown went one-on-one multiple times, trying to halt the other as if it were an intense Celtics practice.

“Going up against my brother Jayson, going back and forth, it was like nobody was in (the arena) at all, just me and him,” Brown said.

Team Giannis led 99-92 at halftime with Tatum scoring 17 points and Mitchell adding 16. Irving had 18 on 8-of-9 shooting to pace Team LeBron.