Keys to the Game
Key Moment
Key Player
Box Score Nuggets
Quote of the Night

Key Moment

If Thursday night wasn’t a prime example of the old saying, “If you play with fire, you’re gonna get burned,” we aren’t sure what is.

The Boston Celtics led the New York Knicks by as many as 25 points during Thursday’s matchup, and by as many as 20 during the third quarter. However, Boston let go of the rope during the third period and allowed the Knicks to claw back to within seven heading into the final period.

With momentum on its side, New York eventually took multiple leads before this game went down to the wire. The Celtics then learned quickly that when momentum is in one team’s pocket for an entire second half, it’s impossible to stop it ahead of the final horn.

New York needed an incredible play during the final 1.5 seconds to come out on top. It got one, thanks to that momentum, off the fingers of R.J. Barrett.

With the game knotted up at 105-105 with 1.5 seconds left, Barrett caught an inbound pass deep on the right wing and took one dribble toward the 3-point line. He threw up a heave from the wing while being defended perfectly by Jayson Tatum, but the lefty still managed to get the shot off without it being deflected.

This shot’s arc was not particularly pretty, and its result was just plain ugly for Boston. Barrett’s prayer banked off of the glass well after the buzzer sounded and fell through the net without touching the rim. With that, the Knicks received their incredible play, and Boston was dealt a devastating blow with a 108-105 loss.

Key Player

Jayson Tatum played a complete game Thursday night. Not only did he lead the Celtics in scoring with 36 points while leading the game in assists with nine, but he also created many more opportunities for that assist total to have been much higher. Tatum easily could have easily surpassed his career high of 12 assists had his teammates canned a higher percentage of their attempts that Tatum had created.

In addition to those strong numbers and that great playmaking, Tatum also shot a very efficient 12-for-21 from the field. He made six of his 11 shots from long distance and also canned all six of his free throws on the night.

You can’t ask for much more than that, but Tatum did contribute more. He also added in six rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot while committing only two turnovers.

This was unquestionably one of his most complete games of the season, and maybe even of his career.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Two players scored at least 36 points during the game: Jayson Tatum (36) for Boston, and Evan Fournier (41) for New York.
  • Fournier's 41 points set a new career high.
  • New York shot 50 percent from long range, having made 18 of its 36 attempts.
  • Dennis Schroder led all reserves with 20 points.
  • Tatum led the game with nine assists.
  • Robert Williams blocked a career-high seven shots.
  • Both teams scored 32 points in the paint.
  • No player in the game reached double-figures in the rebound department.
  • Six of the nine Knicks who checked into the game grabbed at least one steal.
  • The final margin of three points marked New York's largest lead of the game.

Quote of the Night

"We've just gotta find it in ourselves - the grit and the fight, to just come together when stuff's not going our way."

Robert Williams on the team's need to respond to adversity

Key Player

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