Jaylen Brown screams after tying the game up as the Garden crowd goes wild

Keys to the Game: Celtics 121, Warriors 118

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

Key Moment

Jaylen Brown was ice cold to start Thursday’s matchup against the defending champs. As the old adage says, however: It’s not how you start – it’s how you finish.

Brown finished red-hot, canning four of his final six shots of the game, including the biggest one of them all with 18.1 seconds left in regulation to tie the game.

Boston trailed by three points after Stephen Curry dropped in a layup with 28 seconds left on the clock. The Celtics quickly advanced the ball up the court off the make, which allowed them to catch Golden State’s defense a bit off guard.

Marcus Smart immediately dribbled into a pick-and-pop with Malcolm Brogdon, and as he rose up into the air beyond the 3-point line on the left wing, he found Brown flaring to the right wing. Brown, who had missed his first three 3-pointers of the night, caught the ball in rhythm and drilled the triple to tie the game with 18.1 seconds remaining. That shot not only tied the game, but it sent the TD Garden crowd into hysteria.

It was a courageous shot from Brown as well. It must be noted that he fired it up after opening the game 0-for-3 from beyond the arc. Yet he maintained confidence in himself, and he delivered in perfect form.

Brown went on to make two of Boston’s first three shots of overtime, and that second make was followed up by back-to-back 3-pointers from Al Horford and Jayson Tatum. That 8-0 spurt pushed Boston ahead 118-111 with 1:26 left in overtime, and the C’s held on by the skin of their teeth for a momentous 121-118 victory.

Key Player

Jayson Tatum did some Herculean stuff Thursday night at TD Garden. Not only dd he put up the game’s most impressive box score line – by far – but he also did it while not taking a break. Literally.

Tatum checked out of the game at the 7:07 mark of the first quarter and came back at the start of the second. He did not check out the rest of the night, which means he played the final 41 minutes in consecutive fashion while leading his team to victory.

Joe Mazzulla couldn’t take Tatum out because Tatum was contributing to the game in so many different ways. The superstar forward compiled a game-high 34 points, a game-high and career-high 19 rebounds, six assists, and a game-high tying three assists.

Phew. That’s a lot.

Twenty-one of those points and 11 of those rebounds were logged during the second half and overtime alone, as the Celtics erased what was at one moment an 11-point Golden State lead.

The Celtics needed everything Jayson Tatum had Thursday night – and he gave it to them.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Both teams led by double-figures during the game, but neither led by more than 11 points.
  • Jayson Tatum grabbed a career-high 19 rebounds to go along with game highs of 34 points and three steals. He also dished out six assists.
  • Neither team shot better than 40 percent from the field.
  • Four of Golden State's starters scored at least 20 points, led by 29 from Stephen Curry.
  • Al Horford logged his fourth double-double of the season with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
  • Boston won despite a poor assist-to-turnover ratio of 21-to-17.
  • The Celtics outscored Golden State 52-30 in the paint.
  • Malcolm Brogdon outscored Golden State's bench all by himself by a count of 14 to 10.
  • Draymond Green neared a triple-double with 13 rebounds, 11 points and a game-high nine assists.
  • Both teams grabbed 10 steals.
  • Robert Williams logged his third double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Quote of the Night

"I came out here and I wanted to win. I wanted to win really bad."

- Al Horford on taking down the defending champs