Jayson Tatum Shares His Thoughts on Paul Pierce’s Clutch Three 19 Years Later

It’s been 19 years today since Paul Pierce brought the ball across half court in Game Four of the Celtics-Pacers 2003 first-round playoff series. With time expiring in the third, a then two-time All-Star taunted his defender Al Harrington by describing the exact move he was about to enact on the Pacers big-man.

Two seconds later, a 25-year-old Pierce side-stepped to his left and launched a trey ball to the back of the rim and through the net as TD Garden exploded.

Coming off the heels of a first-round sweep against the Brooklyn Nets, Celtics star forward Jayson Tatum dished out some commentary on Pierce’s clutch step-back bucket.

“I felt like he told him what he was about to do. Talking to him, side-step trey ball in the Garden. Something I might do,” Tatum said.

Tatum’s duffy has been on full display since hitting a game-winning layup in Game 1 against the Nets at home, while the side-step trey ball has been a staple in the young star’s bountiful arsenal of offensive weapons. In their sweep against Brooklyn, Tatum averaged a team-high 29.5 points, 7.3 assists, and 4.5 rebounds per game while shooting a scintillating 41.9 percent from beyond the arc.

He’s taken the step as a two-way superstar against one of the game’s best scoring threats, holding Kevin Durant to just 12 points and 3-18 shooting as his primary defender throughout the series.

With Milwaukee entering Game 5 tonight against the Chicago Bulls with a 3-1 lead, the Celtics and Tatum might soon find their matchup for the Eastern Conference semifinals.