Marcus Smart beat the buzzer in overtime to give the Celtics a one-point victory over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night.
Perhaps it’s a bit fitting that the Boston Celtics won a game Saturday night that is so reminiscent of a March Madness moment. Of course Saturday night was the Final Four in Indianapolis where Duke downed Michigan State and Wisconsin and Kentucky played another classic contest.
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Of course, the Celtics are run by Brad Stevens–best known for taking the Butler Bulldogs to two consecutive national championship games, while Marcus Smart just entered the NBA this season after a two-year run at Oklahoma State.
His putback after a hectic Isaiah Thomas drive to the lane which began with 2.6 seconds from beyond halfcourt, gave the Celtics an unbelievable overtime victory Saturday night on the road against the Toronto Raptors.
So rare is it in the NBA to see a mad sprint to the rim to end a game that it could only happen in a coinciding manner with the second to last evening of college basketball for 2014-15.
Smart, the sixth pick in last year’s draft, has had a bit of an odd rookie year in the NBA. He’s shown great ability at the defensive end, but seems to lack pure point guard skills. But he had the right skillset, and happened to be in the right place, for the game’s most important play.
For the game, Smart finished with 15 points, while Thomas–who took what looked to be the final shot–finished with a team-high 25.
Evan Turner continued his statsheet-stuffing ways, scoring 18 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, while Tyler Zeller contributed 20 points.
But Smart’s buzzer-beater was the nail in the coffin for the Raptors, led by Demar Derozan’s 38 points. They remain the third seed in the Eastern Conference.
The win improved Boston’s record to 35-42 and put them a half game better than the Miami Heat who lost 99-98 to the Detroit Pistons Saturday night.
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