A devastating collapse turned into a momentous win for the Celtics Tuesday night in Los Angeles.
Boston led by 20 points midway through the third quarter but then found itself down by 13 as it entered the final four minutes of regulation. It was gut-check time, and the C’s answered the call.
Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart led Boston’s comeback by each scoring seven points during a 17-4 run to close out regulation. That run forced overtime, thanks to Tatum’s absurd jumper in LeBron James’ grill with 17.8 seconds left in regulation.
Tatum stepped up to the moment and went one-on-one with King James with the game on the line on Boston’s final offensive possession of regulation. He isolated on James on the right wing and used six dribbles that eventually led into a spin away from the baseline for a turnaround, fadeaway jumper. And that jumper was as pure as pure can get.
That shot will forever live on Tatum’s career highlight reel, and it’s what saved the day for Boston.
The C’s, who were playing on the second night of a back-to-back and on the final night of a six-game road trip, somehow outlasted the Lakers from there. After Russell Westbrook scored the first four points of overtime, Boston answered with 12 straight to take a commanding 122-114 lead with 53.8 seconds left. The final dagger came off the hands of Jaylen Brown, who drilled a 3-pointer to erase LA’s hopes while securing a 4-2 road trip for the Celtics.
You wanted showtime, LA? You got it, in the form of Jayson Tatum.
And in the form of a 44-piece wing dinner from the superstar forward.
Tatum scored a game-high 44 points while canning 15 of his 29 shots, five of his 10 3-pointers and nine of his 10 free throws. In truth, his scoring couldn’t have been much more efficient.
In addition to his point total, Tatum also filled out his line with nine boards, six dimes and a blocked shot during his 44 minutes of play.
Box Score Nuggets
- Three Celtics (Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, Malcolm Brogdon) tied for the team high in assists with six apiece.
- Tatum also led the game with 44 points.
- Anthony Davis led LA with 37 points, while LeBron James added in 33.
- James led the game in assists with nine.
- Jaylen Brown led the game with 15 rebounds and also added in 25 points, five assists and three steals.
- Los Angeles outscored Boston 68-46 in the paint.
- Russell Westbrook played well off the bench for LA with 20 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, four blocks and a steal.
- Boston made 19 3-pointers, while LA made just eight.
- The Lakers made 22 free throws, which was six more than Boston attempted.
- Smart tallied 18 points, six assists, five rebounds and two steals.
Quote of the Night
"Man, what was we down, 12, with three minutes left? But we found a way, and we needed that, man."- Jayson Tatum on Boston's impressive comeback