At 20 years and 61 days, Boston Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum became the youngest player to score at least 20 points in four consecutive games in the NBA Playoffs, per Elias Sports. The record was previously held by Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who was 20 years and 272 days old.
Tatum’s 21 points in helped the Celtics erase a 22-point deficit to defeat the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Semifinals matchup. Tatum reached the plateau by sinking a pair of free throws to ice the game with 3.4 seconds remaining.
Tatum’s streak began with 22 points in a Game 6 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round. He followed it with 20 points in Game 7, then had what currently stands as his playoff career-high 28 points in Game 1 against the 76ers.
When Bryant set the record in 1999, his third season in the NBA, he began the streak with 24 points in a series-clinching Game 4 win over the Houston Rockets in the first round.
Bryant followed that with 21, 28 and 20 points in Games 1, 2 and 3, respectively, against the San Antonio Spurs. However, each of those were losses, and Bryant scored 16 points when San Antonio completed a sweep in Game 4.
That Tatum and Bryant are linked in NBA history is somewhat fitting considering the rookie initially idolized the five-time champion when he was a young child. But Tatum’s father made him watch tapes of Paul Pierce, because of a belief they shared a more similar skill set.