Rookie Jayson Tatum knocked down a clutch three in the closing minute of tonight’s game to help the Boston Celtics grind out an 87-85 win over the Brooklyn Nets.
Coming into tonight’s matchup at the Barclays Center, the Nets had won three of their last four games, with the Celtics rolling in riding a five game winning streak.
The first quarter of the game proved to be a tough one for the Celtics as shots weren’t falling and the assists weren’t being racked up.
In the same quarter, both Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum were held scoreless, but that didn’t prevent others from getting involved in the game to pick up the slack. (Four Celtics scored in double-digits by the close of the game.)
As the second quarter came to a close, both Kyrie Irving and Aron Baynes each had eight points and four rebounds, and Marcus Smart was playing another key role off the bench with six points on 50 percent shooting.
Smart for ✌️ to beat the buzzer pic.twitter.com/5oZZf1Sh5h— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 7, 2018
Note: Through the first two quarters, the Celtics only committed one turnover compared to the Nets 11.
The tide began to change for the Celtics as they buckled down on the defensive end of the floor, while jumping out to a 17-8 run to give them their first lead of the game with less than five minutes to play in third.
Tatum came up big in the fourth quarter, scoring seven points, including what would be the game-winner from three, following an offensive rebound from Irving. And Irving did a great job following his shot and ripping away the offensive rebound, which led to the great kick-out to Tatum in the corner.
In a game where the Celtics forced 18 Nets turnovers, they only scored six points off of the possession changes. Yet, the Celtics found a way to control the ball on their own end, while only committing five turnovers themselves.
Kyrie Irving led all Celtics scorers with 21 points (8-22 FG), six rebounds and four assists. And Rookie of the Year candidate, Jayson Tatum filled up the stat sheet with 14 points (6-15 FG/3-3 3PT), six rebounds, three steals and six blocks. Daniel Theis came up big off the bench in the second of a back-to-back with eight points (4-6 FG) and 10 rebounds.
UP NEXT: The Celtics (33-10) will jump the pond with their six game winning streak to play the Philadelphia 76ers at the O2 Arena in London this upcoming Thursday afternoon. Catch the call of the game with Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell live on 98.5 The Sports Hub, with pre-game coverage beginning at 2:30 p.m. and tip-off set for 3:00 p.m.
— By John ‘The Dude’ Hardiman, 985TheSportsHub.com