Tatum sparking the C’s from inside the arc

There’s a temptation to begin by hunting-and-pecking “Beyond the win …”

Even that three-word prologue is ridiculous.

Winning is what matters. Not to go full-Vince Lombardi here, but for the masses is there a greater reward than seeing their team win?

There have been times when Jayson Tatum didn’t seem fully focused on that bottom line. Which isn’t to say Tatum has ever betrayed a sense of not caring. But his easy-going nature has surfaced at the worst possible times.

It didn’t Monday night. The Celtics may not have a 3-1 lead in their series against Cleveland if Tatum hadn’t put the finishing touches on their 109-102 win.

He has been trapped in a dismal shooting slump the past two games. There have been times when Tatum’s reaction to a 4-for-16 malaise behind the arc would be to hoist 16 more bombs.

Monday night he ventured into the lane and remembered that he can be an effective rebounder, when the urge strikes him.

He scored 33 points in Game 4. He also grabbed 11 rebounds and initiated scoring opportunities that went beyond the six assists he penciled on the stat sheet. That followed 13 rebounds in Game 3.

There was no whining. Angry glowers, but no whining. In itself that suggests the man has gained a true appreciation of the business at hand.

Tatum offered a vow: The C’s will give the fans something to cheer about in Game 5.

The man heard the boos during the Cav’s rout in Game 3. He knows why the fans were booing.

And he didn’t blame them.