By Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — Thursday night was a big one for Jayson Tatum.

One day after celebrating his 23rd birthday, he found out that he’ll be sharing an All-Star starting lineup with lifelong friend Bradley Beal. He then made a pair of clutch shots late in Boston’s 132-125 win over the Raptors, part of his 27 points as the Celtics finished their pre-All Star break stretch with four straight wins.

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After averaging 24 points and eight rebounds over his last three games, Tatum looks from afar to be firing on all cylinders. But he admitted after the win that he’s still not feeling quite right after battling COVID-19 in January.

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“I’m not sure about back to normal. I for sure feel better than I did the first game [on Jan. 25]. It’s a long process,” Tatum said.

Tatum tested positive on Jan. 9, a day after he scored 32 points in a win over the Celtics, a victory that improved Boston to 7-3 on the young season. He missed five games, returning to the floor a little more than two weeks later. Since then, he’s had some highs and some lows as he’s worked himself back into feeling comfortable.

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“I’ve talked to guys that said it took months for them to kind of catch their breath, and get their wind back. And I think I’m kind of on the same track with that,” Tatum said. “I for sure feel better. I don’t feel necessarily the same before I got it when I was playing. I definitely know there’s a difference. But I feel pretty good. “ Staff