Celtics vs. Nets: Jayson Tatum’s buzzer-beating layup leads Boston to Game 1 victory over Brooklyn

Celtics vs. Nets: Jayson Tatum’s buzzer-beating layup leads Boston to Game 1 victory over Brooklyn

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The Brooklyn Nets very nearly pulled off one of the great comebacks in recent NBA history. The Boston Celtics led Game 1 of their first-round series by as many as 15 points, and they were ahead by 11 at the start of the fourth quarter. But one 15-2 run later, Brooklyn had the lead. The pressure was on the Celtics, and it was largely thanks to their former point guard.

Kyrie Irving gashed Boston for 18 points in the fourth quarter alone, and with roughly 45 seconds left, hit a 3-pointer that looked like a backbreaker to put Brooklyn up 114-111. But Jaylen Brown quickly cut the deficit to one, and then an incredible defensive possession by Boston gave them the ball back with a chance to take the last shot.

Celtics coach Ime Udoka could have called timeout and set up a play to try to win the game. Instead, he trusted his players. Marcus Smart could’ve gone up for a buzzer-beater with around three seconds left. Instead, he nailed a cutting Jayson Tatum, who, after a well-times spin move, softly laid it in as time expired to give Boston the 115-114 victory in Game 1.

The layup was so close to the final buzzer that the broadcast crew initially believed that it would be waived off. Replay proved that it was good, though, and the Nets had no time left to mount a response. The Celtics narrowly avoided a historic fourth quarter collapse.

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Now the pressure is on Brooklyn. They did everything in their power to win that game and still came away with the L. They’ll now have to win four out of the next six to steal the series, and that’s without knowing when Ben Simmons will be able to return to the floor. Fans everywhere expected this to be the best series of of the first round. Game 1 lived up to the hype.

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