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The Boston Celtics won their fifth straight game Wednesday night when they knocked off the short-handed Miami Heat. Jayson Tatum went 8-for-12 from three-point land and finished with 49 points as the Celtics improved to an NBA-best 18-4.

Tatum went 15-for-25 from the floor and led Boston to its fifth straight win. He said before the game, teammate Grant Williams did his LeBron James impersonation, and it was nearly perfect.

Jayson Tatum was nearly unstoppable against the Miami Heat

Haywood Highsmith of the Miami Heat and Kyle Lowry try to stop Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics during the second half at TD Garden on November 30, 2022, in Boston, Massachusetts. | Winslow Townson/Getty Images.

While the final margin was 13 points as Boston toppled Miami 134-121, the game was much closer. The visiting Heat played without star Jimmy Butler and Victor Oladipo but were within two points in the fourth quarter.

Led by Tatum, the Celtics went on an offensive surge to pull away. It was the third straight game the Celtics hit the 130-point mark. They have won 14 of their last 15 games.

Tatum made his MVP case stronger with his outburst. Abby Chin of NBC Sports Boston asked him after the game what it’s like to hear the M-V-P chants from the home crowd.

“That means everything,” Tatum told Chin. “Something I dreamed about as a kid. To hear it in front of the home crowd, in front of the best fans in the world, it holds a special place in my heart. I love this place. I love being here. Hearing it during the game gives you chills, and I’m glad we got a win.”

Tatum hit 40-plus points for the third time this season. It’s the 14th time in his career he’s accomplished that feat in the regular season.

Tatum said Grant Williams nearly pulled off a perfect LeBron James impersonation before the game


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While the Celtics are the hottest team in the NBA, Tatum has been one of the hottest players in the league. We’re one quarter through the season, and Tatum, along with Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, is a favorite in the MVP race.

Before Wednesday’s game, Williams told Tatum he was going to have a big night.

“When I was in layup lines today, the birthday boy, Grant, did his best LeBron impersonation and told me I was going to score 50 today,” Tatum said postgame, per CLNS Media. “I just kept that in the back of my mind.

“Everybody’s seen the meme of LeBron predicting things in the future, so Grant did that today. He literally told me that in layup lines.”

Williams was off by a point. Had Tatum not missed a free throw (11-for-12 from the line), Williams would have nailed the prediction.

“I’ve gotten 50 before,” Tatum said. “I’ll do it again.”