With 8 seconds left, the Boston Celtics had all but lost. However, some March magic came through in the clutch with a win.
What a game. After the shorthanded Boston Celtics looked like they would come up empty, everything bounced the C’s way.
One team had two All-Stars, as well as Carmelo Anthony, and Steven Adams and had just won a game against the best team in the East on the road. The other had three of their best guys out and just lost by twenty to the Pelicans.
The Thunder led the Celtics by 8 at the end of the first quarter and 6 with 25 seconds to go. Yet, Boston found a way to pull off the unthinkable. Here are the four moments down the stretch that allowed the Celtics to escape with a victory.
Jayson Tatum gets groovy
Poor Corey Brewer. He had no idea what was about to happen. Jayson Tatum snatched his ankles and soul, sending him sprawling two feet away to think about what had just been done to him.
This three should have put the Thunder on notice. There were some demons rooting for the Celtics last night. As you will see, they did not go away.
Terry Rozier keeps the C’s alive
Down 5 with 17 seconds left, the Celtics had almost no chance to win. However, those demons came back just in the nick of time. Terry Rozier took an off-balance, make-or-break three.
It swished right through. The final shot will be the big takeaway, but this shot by Rozier was just as important. What an extremely clutch shot over the reigning MVP, Russell Westbrook.
Still, the Celtics were down 2 with 12 seconds left and Carmelo Anthony at the line. He will surely sink at least ONE free throw.
Nope, the past his prime third option clanked two freebies.
Now, after trailing by six multiple times in the last minute, the Celtics had the ball down by just two. Carmelo Anthony had choked away a win.
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Just for kicks, I wanted to see how Melo has played in close games in the TD Garden. In one possession games in the fourth quarter, his career stats are not great: 12 games (4W-8L), 10-32 FG, 3-7 3PT, 8-10 FT, -10 +/-. Not exactly what you would want from someone who prides themselves on showing up in the clutch.
Marcus Morris for the win
Of course, the biggest moment of the night came when Marcus Morris clinched an incredible Celtics win. Step to the right, off one foot, pull up, money.
Although the win does nothing for playoff seeding, it was still excellent for morale. The Celtics without Kyrie, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart executed a comeback win against a playoff team? I’ll take it.
The Celtics will get no breaks in strength of schedule as they visit Portland on Friday. Even though they lost last night, the Blazers are one of the hottest teams in the NBA. Kyrie and Jaylen are still out, and I have a feeling Portland will get some revenge from February’s back-and-forth battle.