Jayson Tatum, Zach LaVine become second pair of players to score 50 points on the same day this season

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The NBA doesn’t see many 50-point games, and that has been especially true this season. After getting 22 in the 2018-19 season and 23 in the abbreviated season last year, the NBA has so far seen only 10 50-point games this season. With that in mind, getting multiple 50-point games on the same night should be exceedingly rare. Yet for the second time this season, it has happened. On Feb. 6, both Stephen Curry and Nikola Jokic got to 50. And tonight? Jayson Tatum and Zach LaVine both got there, and for both of them, it was a career-high in scoring. 

LaVine’s first half was perhaps the most impressive we’ve seen all season. He dropped a staggering 39 points on the Atlanta Hawks in the first two quarters, including 25 in a row at one point. But when the Hawks came back for the second half with a more aggressive game-plan. They started doubling LaVine more frequently and held him to 11 in the final two quarters. That still took him to a career-best 50 points in total, but the Hawks came away with a 120-108 (box score) win.

The Minnesota Timberwolves nearly dealt Tatum’s Celtics the same fate. Boston trailed by as many 17 points and needed overtime to secure a 145-136 (box score) victory behind Tatum’s remarkable 53-point outing. Tatum got to the free-throw line an astounding 16 times, converting 15 of them to go along with a 6-of-10 shooting night from behind the arc. 

Before the last several seasons, multiple 50-point games on the same day were an extreme rarity. It happened once last season, but prior to that, it hadn’t happened since Dec. 23, 2005, when Vince Carter and Allen Iverson both got to 50. In a league with improved spacing and rules geared towards offense, 50-point nights are becoming more and more frequent. Getting even one 50-point explosion on a single night used to be a treat? Now, we’re getting multiple such outings on the same night. 

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