Kendrick Perkins calls out Jayson Tatum after Celtics star struggles in Game 4

Kendrick Perkins calls out Jayson Tatum after Celtics star struggles in Game 4

Kendrick Perkins calls out Tatum after Celtics star struggles in Game 4 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Golden State Warriors’ best player came up clutch with one of the best performances of his career in Game 4 of the 2022 NBA Finals.

Stephen Curry put the Warriors on his back and scored 43 points to lead the Warriors to a 107-97 victory Friday night at TD Garden to even the series at two wins apiece.

The Boston Celtics needed their top player, Jayson Tatum, to go toe-to-toe with Curry and assert his dominance on the sport’s grandest stage.

He failed to meet the challenge.

Tatum scored 23 points on 8-of-23 shooting with 11 rebounds and six assists. He also committed six turnovers. With the outcome hanging in the balance during a tightly contested fourth quarter, Tatum scored just three points on 1-of-5 shooting as Boston’s offense imploded down the stretch. Tatum struggled on 2-point shots, hitting just four of his 15 attempts overall. Many of his drives to the basket ended with a missed shot.

Former Celtics center Kendrick Perkins gave a candid assessment of Tatum’s Game 4 performance.

“We could talk about turnovers and all the Xs and Os. We can talk about transition defense. But what I saw today was the best player on one team was ready for the occasion and rose to the occasion. And I’ve been waiting for the best player on the Celtics to rise to the occasion,” Perkins said on NBC Sports Boston’s “Celtics Pregame Live”.

“Where is Jayson Tatum at the moment? Real talk, where is Jayson Tatum? I’m not talking about 25 points on 22 shots, or going 8-of-23 tonight. When is he going to arrive to the Finals and have that big moment? … He doesn’t have to talk about it or tweet about being a superstar. You’re there. We’re going to talk about. You’re first team All-NBA. Show it.”

Curry has been the best and most consistent player in the series by far. He’s averaging 34.3 points and shooting a sparkling 49.1 percent from 3-point range. Curry is capable of leading the Warriors to a championship almost by himself. He’s that good.

Tatum doesn’t have to match Curry’s scoring output every game, but he has to be a much more efficient player and take better care of the basketball. The 24-year-old forward is averaging just 22.3 points on 33.1 percent shooting through four games of the NBA Finals. He’s turned the ball over 12 times in the last three games.

Luckily for the Celtics, the series is still tied and Tatum hasn’t given an elite performance yet. If he can deliver in Game 5 on Monday night, the Celtics will have a chance to win their 18th title at the Garden in Game 6.

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