Keys to the Game: Celtics 104, Knicks 102

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

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Key Moment


What a great game that ended with one of the greatest shots of the young wing’s career.

Tatum canned the game-winning jumper from the right corner with 1.3 seconds left to give Boston a 104-102 victory Friday night over the Knicks. It sure looked like Brad Stevens called the play for him.

Following a timeout with 4.7 seconds left in a tie game, Tatum caught an inbound pass along the sideline and while facing the sideline. He immediately pivoted on his right foot, swinging his left leg around to face up on his defender, rookie RJ Barrett, for the briefest of moments. Tatum then quickly ripped the ball through, from left to right, took one dribble to his right and pulled up for a jumper with his right heel touching the 3-point line in the corner.


The game-winning jumper dropped through the net with 1.3 seconds left in the game, and New York had no timeouts remaining to advance the ball. The Knicks’ full-court heave attempt on their ensuing inbound pass was tipped into the air at the buzzer and Boston sealed its victory.

Tatum surely put his team in a dangerous position with his fouls against Morris, but he answered in the biggest of ways. He came through when it mattered most with a game-winning bucket that gave Boston its fourth win in a row.

Key Player

Kemba. Just. Keeps. Doing. It.

Kemba Walker, who came into Friday night having scored 32 points during each of his previous two games, one-upped those two performances by dropping 33 points on the Knicks during a 104-102 win. He was nothing short of spectacular while making a living at the foul line yet again.

Walker made all 14 of his free throws, giving him a 28-for-29 showing overall from the stripe during his last two games. For reference, the Knicks made 14 free throws as a team. Walker scored his 33 points on only 19 field goal attempts.

The All-Star point guard provided the majority of his scoring when his team needed it most: during the second half of a tight contest. Twenty-three of his game-high 33 points were scored during the second half, on 5-for-12 shooting. He made 10 of his 14 freebies during the second half as well.

The numbers didn’t end in the scoring column, either. Walker also contributed a team-best five assists to go along with six rebounds and a steal.

Walker has now amassed a total of 97 points over his last three games on only 55 shot attempts. That, folks, is efficiency.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Kemba Walker's 14 made free throws tied New York's team total.
  • Walker scored a game-high 33 points.
  • Marcus Morris Sr. led New York with 29 points.
  • Boston shot 27-for-29, good for 93.1 percent, from the free-throw line as a team.
  • New York grabbed 16 offensive rebounds, four of which were grabbed by Bobby Portis.
  • Jayson Tatum, who made the game-winning shot, scored 24 points.
  • Tatum and Daniel Theis tied for the game's best plus/minus rating at plus-12.
  • Walker, RJ Barrett and Julius Randle tied for the game high in assists with five apiece.
  • Tatum (four), Gordon Hayward (three) and Walker (three) each made at least three 3-pointers.
  • Marcus Smart and Frank Ntilikina each grabbed a game-best three steals.
  • Daniel Theis tied his career high with four blocked shots.
  • The two teams combined to commit only 27 turnovers, 14 by Boston and 13 by New York.
  • Grant Williams scored a career-best 10 points on only four shot attempts.

Quote of the Night

Brad Stevens on Kemba Walker