Jayson Tatum credited Al Horford as a role model, called him ‘my favorite teammate I’ve ever had’

Morning Sports Update

“It’s based on respect, the respect I have for him and likewise.”

Al Horford Jayson Tatum Celtics
Al Horford prior to the Celtics-76ers game on Wednesday. AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Jayson Tatum on Al Horford: Following the Celtics’ Wednesday night win over the 76ers — accomplished without multiple starters in the lineup — Jayson Tatum was asked about the impact of Al Horford.

Horford, 37, posted 14 points, eight rebounds, three assists, five blocks, and no turnovers as he returned to the starting lineup with Kristaps Porzingis out. Tatum who has been teammates with Horford in multiple stints dating back to his time as a rookie, credited the veteran for helping him develop.

“He was somebody who really took me under their wing and I just always remembered he would periodically and at random times throughout my first year ask me how I am doing, how I am adjusting,” Tatum said of Horford. “He was somebody I really respected in the way that he went about his work. He was never late, always on time, always getting in his work at the gym, always taking care of his body.”

Now 25 and in his prime, Tatum said that while the dynamic with Horford has evolved, it remains important.

“I learned a lot from him from a routine standpoint, and as I’ve gotten older, our relationship has grown,” he said. “It’s based on respect, the respect I have for him and likewise. We know we need each other.

“Even now he asked me how I’m feeling, how’s my body, that’s who I sit next to on the plane,” Tatum concluded. “Al’s like my favorite teammate I’ve ever had.”

Trivia: Al Horford was the third overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft. Who was taken first overall that year?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: Ohio State.

Scores and schedule:

The Celtics, despite missing Jaylen Brown and Porzingis, were able to hold off the 76ers in a 117-107 win. Jayson Tatum (29 points) led the way for Boston.

Tomorrow, the Celtics will face the Raptors in Toronto in the NBA’s in-season tournament at 7:30 p.m.

More from Boston.com:

Speaking of the Celtics: Joel Embiid acknowledged after the game that he thinks the Celtics are currently the best team in the league.

On this day: In 1986, the Patriots completed a miraculous comeback against the Rams in a 30-28 win on the last play of the game. After blowing an early 13-0 lead (in what was Rams rookie quarterback Jim Everett’s first NFL appearance), New England trailed 28-16 in the fourth quarter.

But after Irving Fryar caught a six-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to 28-23, the Patriots were eventually able to get the ball back despite Los Angeles running back Eric Dickerson’s 102-yard day.

Tony Eason proceeded to lead the Patriots downfield, and positioned New England at the Rams’ 25-yard line with three seconds remaining after scrambling 26 yards on the previous play before barely escaping out of bounds to stop the clock.

With one play remaining, Eason threw the ball up to the back of the end zone. New England wide receiver Stanley Morgan leapt highest, tipping the ball back into the air. Fryar, standing near the back right corner of the end zone, grabbed the ball after Morgan’s tip, and held on for the stunning game-winner.

It also wasn’t lost on both the players and the media that Fryar’s heroics came exactly five weeks after Dave Henderson’s walk-off home run — another miracle — that also came in Anaheim (against the Angels) in the American League Championship Series.

“There we were, two outs, two on, bottom of the ninth,” quipped Patriots center Pete Brock. “And Henderson hits another one.”

1986 Patriots Rams Miracle

Daily highlight: Mekhi Mason threw down a thunderous dunk, though Texas still beat Rice in the end, 80-64.

Trivia answer: Greg Oden


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