Top 5 Buzzer-Beaters in Recent Celtics History
BOSTON – Terry Rozier stole a win away from the Indiana Pacers Monday night. Literally.
You’ve probably already seen it, but if you haven’t, sit back, watch, and enjoy.
(And if you’ve already seen it, sit back, watch, and enjoy again.)
After basking for 15 hours in the awesomeness of that play, and the ensuing aftermath of it, like this…
… we started to reminisce on the other buzzer-beating moments the Celtics have delivered to us in recent seasons. Then we did what any logical site would do: we created a top-five list of those buzzer-beating moments.
So sit back, watch, and enjoy these moments yet again. It’s time to dig into the vault, and it’s time to soak in these top moments from the previous three seasons.
No. 5: April 4, 2015 at Toronto – Marcus Smart
The play was drawn up for Isaiah Thomas. It didn’t exactly go as planned, but the end result was all the Celtics wanted.
With 2.6 seconds left on the clock, Thomas streaked from the backcourt and caught an inbound pass on the run from Evan Turner. Thomas continued his sprint toward the paint, but he was engulfed by two Raptors defenders as he approached the rim and released the ball.
Was it a pass? Was it a shot? No one really knows, but what we do know now is that Smart caught the ball and kissed it off the glass all in one motion for the win.
(By the way… they called it a shot, but IT will always call it an assist.)
No. 4: March 4, 2015 vs. Utah – Tyler Zeller
Tyler Zeller was a reliable big man during his time with the Boston Celtics, but he was never a go-to scorer during the clutch – at least until Brad Stevens went to him on a brilliant play-call in March of 2015.
Boston trailed 84-83 with 1.7 seconds left on the game clock. Marcus Smart took the ball out of bounds in front of the C’s bench and wound up tossing a Tom Brady-esque pass to Zeller, who made an incredible play just to haul the pass in in traffic, all before sending the C’s into the winner’s circle with a tough layup.
No. 3: Feb. 5, 2016 at Cleveland – Avery Bradley
The Celtics rolled into Cleveland having won seven of their last eight games. They had something to prove: that they could beat the elite.
They did so in dramatic fashion, as they scored four points during the final 4.9 seconds to capture the win. Bradley made the game-winner after nearly fumbling away a wraparound pass from Isaiah Thomas. He regained his handle and canned a 3-pointer from right in front of Boston’s bench as time expired.
No. 2: April 14, 2015 vs. Toronto – Jae Crowder
This one lands high on our list because of its importance. Jae Crowder’s game-winning shot in the final seconds against Toronto – just 10 days after No. 5 on our list – sealed Boston’s berth into the Playoffs, a feat few would have predicted prior to the season beginning.
In addition to what was riding on the line as Crowder released the shot, he was also forced to can it in the face of not one, but TWO Raptors defenders as he toed the very corner of the court. What a shot!
No. 1: May 21, 2017 at Cleveland – Avery BradleyAvery Bradley really enjoyed playing in Cleveland as a member of the Celtics, and he particularly enjoyed the final seconds of close games there.
So did we.
Bradley beat the buzzer yet again, this time during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, as his 3-pointer from the left wing danced around the rim for two full seconds before falling through the net with 0.1 seconds left on the clock.