BOSTON (CBS) -- For the first time in his career, Jayson Tatum is an NBA All-Star. The Celtics forward was named a reserve for the Feb. 16 exhibition on Thursday night.
The announcement was made just ahead of Boston's 119-104 win over the Golden State Warriors at TD Garden. Tatum will now join teammate Kemba Walker in Chicago next month.
"I am so excited. It has always been a dream of mine and it finally happened," Tatum said of his All-Star nod. "To get to join [Kemba], my teammate, at All-Star Weekend, it doesn't even feel real right now. I am so excited."
The celebration was extra special for Tatum when his young son, Deuce, joined him in the Boston locker room with a shirt that read "My Dad's An All-Star."
"It was icing on the cake," said Tatum.
Tatum is having a career-year for the Celtics in his third NBA season, taking his offensive game to a new level. The forward has averaged 21.5 points over his 42 games this season, which is good for second-most on the team behind Walker. Tatum's shooting numbers are a bit low after a tough start to the season, but he is hitting 43.5 percent of his shots from the floor and 36.6 percent from three-point range. He has stopped relying so much on his mid-range game, with a lot more focus on attacking the basket.
Tatum had the first 40-point night of his career on Jan. 11, dropping 41 points in a 140-105 blowout victory over the New Orleans Pelicans. He's scored 30 or more points five times, and has been Boston's leading scorer 14 times this season.
He's also averaging a career-high 6.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. Tatum has six double-doubles on the season, two off his career-high of eight from last year. And on the defensive end, Boston touts a 101.8 defensive rating with Tatum on the court.
A big first half for Tatum has earned him a much-deserved spot in the All-Star Game in Chicago. This marks the second straight year that the Celtics will have two players in the All-Star game, after Kyrie Irving and Al Horford earned the honors last season.
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