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Jayson Tatum played the hero for the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of their first-round series against the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday night.
With the Nets up only one point, the Celtics had a last-ditch effort to try and win the game. Marcus Smart got the ball on the wing and pumped fake. He blew past Nets defenders Bruce Brown and Nic Claxton to drive instead of shoot and found Tatum cutting to the basket.
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Tatum got the ball within inches of Kyrie Irving in the key and spun around him to make the layup as the buzzer sounded.
Boston won 115-114 to go up 1-0 in the best-of-7 series.
“We all thought Smart was gonna shoot it … When he took that dribble, we made eye contact, he made a great pass and I just had to make a layup,” Tatum said after the game.
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The NBA world went wild watching Tatum’s shot.
Tatum played 45 minutes and was 9-for-18 from the field. He finished with a team-high 31 points, eight assists and four rebounds. He also had two blocks in the game.
The Celtics star’s performance was buoyed by Jaylen Brown’s 23 points, five rebounds, four steals and three assists. Marcus Smart and Al Horford each had 20 points. Horford added 15 rebounds.
Boston’s defense clamped down on Kevin Durant.
Durant was 9-of-24 and had 23 points and four rebounds in the loss.
Irving led the way for the Nets with 39 points, six assists, five rebounds and four steals in 42 minutes.
Goran Dragic had 14 points off the bench and Claxton had 13 points and eight rebounds off the bench.
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Boston scored the Nets 52-32 points in the paint and Brooklyn also had 16 turnovers.