Tatum’s layup on Buzzer gives the Celtics a 115-114 win over the Nets

BOSTON (AP) — Jayson Tatum hit a layup on a buzzer-beating pass from Marcus Smart to give the Boston Celtics a dramatic 115-114 victory over the Brooklyn Nets in Game 1 of their first-ever playoff series. round on Sunday.

Tatum scored 16 of his 31 points in the second half, the last two after a Boston gained possession in the frantic final seconds. Jaylen Brown dribbled up the middle and passed the ball to Smart, who shot to a slashing Tatum, who spun and dropped his layup just before time expired.

Brown added 23 points. Al Horford had 20 points and 15 rebounds, and Smart finished with 20 points, including four 3-pointers.

Kyrie Irving finished with 39 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter. But the Celtics took the ball out of his hands the last time Brooklyn had it and Kevin Durant missed a jumper for a go-ahead point that set up the Celtics’ final possession.

Durant added 23 points but shot just 9 of 24.

Boston came out of halftime on a 23-8 run to open an 82-69 lead, sparked by Smart’s shot from beyond the arc.

The Celtics also seemed to modify their approach to protecting Durant in the middle of the court, facing him and sending help over the top to limit his driving ability.

Durant and Irving still found ways to score at times, but they had to exert more energy to get their attempts.

With Boston leading early in the fourth, Irving put Brooklyn back in the mix with two straight 3-pointers and a layup to cut Boston’s lead to 98-97 with just over 9 minutes remaining. Then, after an empty drive from Boston in which Brown and Horford failed to convert from close range, Durant calmly drained a 3-pointer at the other end to put the Nets in front.

Brooklyn had increased its lead to 107-102 when Durant went ahead with a jump shot. Brown found space on the Celtics’ next possession and hit a 3-pointer from the sidelines. The Nets turned it around with an offensive foul on Durant. Smart slipped under Irving on Boston’s lockout trip and tied it with a layup.

The score was tied again at 109 with less than 2 minutes left when Durant friendly bounced off a jumper to put Brooklyn back on. Horford’s follow-up shot tied it again. But Irving was good from deep the next time on the floor he gave the Nets a 114-111 cushion.

Brown tied it coming out of a timeout with 38 seconds remaining.

On his final trip to face his former Boston teammates, Irving received the heaviest taunts during pregame introductions and was booed every time he touched the ball the rest of the way.

Fans also showed plenty of disdain for Bruce Brown, who made headlines last week after suggesting Celtics big men Horford and Daniel Theis might be easy to attack inside without injured center Robert Williams III available to defend the game. ring.

Horford played the first 12 minutes like he was on a one-man mission to erase that notion.

Boston entered with the best defensive rating in the league since the All-Star break and put pressure on Durant early. He tried to establish himself in the post in the first quarter, but the Celtics attacked him with back defenders who stripped him three times.

Brooklyn finished with seven turnovers in the fourth, but it translated into just a 29-28 lead for Boston.

Horford was active throughout, going 3-for-4 from the field with 10 points, two rebounds and a steal.

Boston had to adjust early in the second quarter after Theis committed his third foul. But things leveled out when Drummond was whistled for his fourth foul with 4:58 remaining in the period.

The Celtics immediately went on a 9-2 run before the Nets rallied to tie the game at 61 at the half.

Nets: Brooklyn finished with 16 turnovers. … Durant and Irving shot a combined 1-for-8 from the field in the first quarter.

Celtics: Outscored the Nets 56-32 in the paint. … Williams cheered from the bench in street clothes. … New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and his son, Jonathan Kraft, sat courtside.

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Leave a Comment