Keys to the Game: Clippers 107, Celtics 104 (OT)

Taylor Snow
Team Reporter

jQuery(document).ready(function() { addByline("Taylor Snow", "Celtics.com", "taylorcsnow"); keysToTheGame(); });

Key Moment

In the waning seconds of regulation at STAPLES Center Wednesday night, the Celtics found a hero in Jayson Tatum, who sunk a game-tying 3-pointer to send their matchup with the LA Clippers into overtime.

But in the waning seconds of overtime, the C’s were unable to repeat such heroics, as they found themselves in the same exact situation only to fall short at the buzzer.

The Clippers had a 107-102 lead with just over 34 seconds remaining in the extra session until Tatum made it a one-possession game on a driving dunk.

LA inbounded the ball and, 16 seconds later Marcus Smart pulled off one of his trademark, crunch-time defensive plays. This one entailed him deflecting a Lou Williams pass toward the sideline at center court, tracking the ball down, pouncing on it, and having enough special awareness to throw it off of Kawhi Leonard’s foot out, sending it out of bounds.

This allowed the Celtics to take a timeout with 10.7 seconds remaining, giving them time to set up one more play. Smart inbounded to Daniel Theis, who, at the top of the 3-point arc, handed the ball off to Tatum. The fourth-quarter hero curled around a screen set by Theis and fired up an off-balance triple from the right wing, only to have it clang off the rim.

Fortunately for Boston, Kemba Walker was in perfect position to grab the offensive rebound, which he did with just under two seconds remaining, before being fouled by Patrick Beverly to set up one final play.

Smart returned to the sideline for inbounding duties and found Kemba Walker in the nearside corner. As soon as Walker caught the rock, he rose up for the game-tying trey, but Leonard managed to get his outstretched fingertips on the rubber, sending the shot wild to secure a 107-104 victory for his Clippers.

Key Player

The Celtics went up against two elite scorers in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George Wednesday night, though neither of them could match the scoring output of Jayson Tatum.

Boston’s third-year wing dropped 30 points for just the second time in his career, as he shot 50-percent from both the field (12-of-24) and from 3-point range (5-of-10). Meanwhile, George scored 25 points on 44.4 percent shooting from the field and Leonard was held to just 17 points on 35 percent shooting from the field.

Tatum also stuffed the stat sheet in other areas, as he compiled six rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks during his 40-plus minutes of action.

On top of all that, Tatum was Boston's top crunch-time performer, as he delivered the game-tying 3-pointer at the end of regulation, before eventually falling in overtime.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Jayson Tatum logged a season-high 30 points to lead all scorers.
  • Boston dominated in the paint, where it outscored LA, 52-32.
  • The Clippers logged 43 bench points, largely thanks to Lou Williams' 27-point effort.
  • Patrick Beverly coralled a career-high 16 rebounds for LA.
  • Marcus Smart and Paul George led their respective teams in assists with eight apiece.
  • The Celtics had a 17-8 advantage in fast-break points.
  • Daniel Theis dished out a career-high six assists. He also coralled a team-high 14 rebounds.
  • Boston missed its first 16 3-point attempts, but made 12 of its final 29.
  • Tatum was the only Celtics player to record a block. He swatted two shots in total.
  • The Clippers committed 23 turnovers to Boston's 17.
  • Both teams coralled 53 rebounds.

Quote of the Night

Paul George after being schooled on Jayson Tatum's game-tying 3.