'I was a shell of myself': Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum opens up on impact of brutal ankle roll on the first play of pivotal Game 7 against the Miami Heat
Things did not start well for Boston Celtics star swingman Jayson Tatum as he rolled his ankle on the very first play in Game 7 against Miami on Monday night, causing an injury that hindered him throughout the game.
After driving to the basket, Tatum euro stepped and drew contact from the Heat's Gabe Vincent.
As Tatum was going to the ground after his layup attempt, his left foot landed on Vincent's foot and his ankle rolled under his weight. He still managed to play most of the game and scored 14 points in 42 minutes.
'I was a shell of myself,' a visibly dejected Tatum said afterward. 'I came down on my ankle and it is tough because it kind of impacted me the rest of the night.
'It swelled up, it was frustrating - was tough to move. Frustrating it happened on the first play. I don't want nobody to feel bad for me. Unfortunately, injuries are apart of this game.'
He was seen limping away from the podium after his post-game press conference and appeared as he hobbled out of the room.
After the play in the first quarter, Tatum was seen limping after getting up and continued playing in the game for a few more minutes.
But after continuing on for a while, Tatum went to the bench - where he sat the rest of the first quarter.
Tatum would eventually return in the second quarter of the game itself - but by that time Miami had taken a 22-15 lead in his absence.
Miami would build their lead even further in the second quarter - building up a lead of 17 at one point.
Boston's involvement in this game was miraculous. The Celtics had lost the first three games of the series against Miami.
Then, they went on to win their next three to force a Game 7 - becoming the fourth team in NBA history to do so.
But Boston could not get the job done - falling 103-84 to the Heat and ending their season.
Despite sitting for half of the first quarter, Tatum still ended up playing 42 minutes - but put up 14 points on a 5-13 shooting line, including a 1-4 line from 3-point range.