The Boston Celtics continued a great start to their season on Friday night, defeating the Miami Heat 111-104 in a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference Final. That was on the heels of a 126-117 victory in the season opener against another Eastern Conference powerhouse, the Philadelphia 76ers. In those games, teammates Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined to do something that had only been done one other time in the franchise’s storied history.
Tatum and Brown both scored 35 points in Boston’s opening night win against Philadelphia on Tuesday. Against the Heat on Friday, Tatum led the Celtics with 29 points, while Brown was just behind him with 28. While Boston has a long history of great teams and players, Tatum and Brown became the second Celtics teammates to both top 25 points in the first two games of a season, joining the Hall of Fame duo of Larry Bird and Robert Parish (who did so in the 1984-85 season).
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are the second duo Celtics history to score 25 points in each of their team's first 2 games of a season.
They join Robert Parish and Larry Bird, who did this in 1984-85. pic.twitter.com/lG62GWwAiN
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 22, 2022
For anyone curious, Bird scored 33 against the Detroit Pistons to open that season and followed it up with 25 points against the then-New Jersey Nets. Parish scored 25 in both games. And as was the case with Tatum and Brown, the Celtics won both contests.
This would be a notable accomplishment for any teammates. But for a franchise that’s been around as long and had as much great history as the Celtics, it’s even more notable. Bird and Parish were teammates with Kevin McHale, one of the greatest low-post scorers ever. Yet, neither ever combined to do this with him.
More recently, we’ve seen power teammates in Boston, like Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen. Prior to the Bird, Parish, and McHale era, the Celtics were led by Hall of Fame teammates Dave Cowens and John Havlicek. Boston also won 11 titles in 13 years between the 1956-57 and 1968-69 seasons. And while the three-point shot wasn’t a thing yet, teams generally shot a lot more back then than they do presently. It’s why so many players of that era have great scoring numbers with poor percentages.
Yet, in the decades of stacked basketball teams that game through Boston, what Tatum and Brown accomplished has been done only once in franchise history. If this is how they’re going to start the season, we can only wait and see what’s to come.