It was awesome. The first game brought fans every emotion imaginable: euphoria from a successful start to the playoffs at home (for Boston fans) or a powerful comeback in the final quarter (for Brooklyn fans), frustration from a losing lead (for Boston fans) or unstable star play (for Brooklyn fans), endless worries in the end (for everyone).
It’s best to be a neutral fan here – any outcome would have thrilled. But only one team could have won. As in eSports, where the matches are just as interesting, but played much more often. This makes watching them (and betting on them) much more interesting at https://gg.bet/en/esports.
Tonight, that’s Boston.
With 46 seconds left, the Celtics were hit with a painful three-pointer by old foe Kyrie Irving with the score tied. Kyrie had 39 points, including 18 in the final quarter.
After timeout, the Celtics decided not to rush and throw in three-pointers and quickly closed the gap. Jalen Brown scored an easy two points-just minutes before he broke his nose on Kyrie’s elbow (who else!) trying to steal the ball, but despite protests from the Nets’ bench, he was able to stay in the game, although doctors had to stop the bleeding from Brown’s nose twice.
Brooklyn was going to answer with another game-winning dunk from Kyrie.
Boston was ready for it.
Marcus Smart was officially announced as one of three finalists for the NBA’s Best Defensive Player award within minutes, and here’s more confirmation of that choice. Smart terrorized Kyrie on the last possession in such a way that he couldn’t find room to shoot – and that, by the way, is the best player in the modern NBA when it comes to that component. When Smart was joined by center Al Horford, Irving had no choice but to rebound the ball to Durant at the three-point line.
But time was running out, and Durant had Jason Tatum glued to him. KD waited and threw from 8 meters – but it wasn’t his game, only 23 points, not a good shooting stats. Durant missed that shot, too.
With 12 seconds left at -1, Boston might take a timeout. An insecure coach would do just that.
But Ime Udoka makes one of the key decisions of this game, allowing the team to figure out the last offense on its own. Without the outlined combinations. Without moving the ball to the center line.
But most importantly, without substitutions from the opponent.
It’s no secret that the Nets’ core is not the greatest defenders. For all of Irving’s offensive magic, no one is afraid of him on the other side of the court.
Jalen Brown and the ball went straight to him and Goran Dragic. He didn’t push it, but he made the Brooklyn defense look like an omelet. Found a free Marcus Smart. He lured two opponents to him, waited in cold blood for them to jump on his shot…
…and instead of shooting, he found Jason Tatum (31 points and 8 assists) under the basket.
Against whom the light, short and not scary at all Kyrie Irving was left to defend.
All that was left to do was get the ball to the basket.
Whether it was luck, sheer calculation, like in betting at gg.bet/en/esports, or incredible instinct, Tatum let the ball out of his hands in time for the siren but without leaving his opponent a fraction of a second to respond. The match was over, winning the first game of the series for the Celtics.
“The Garden began celebrating Tatum’s winning shot like it was already a championship. No wonder – Boston had never seen anything like it! That’s right: The Celtics are in their 76th season in the NBA. During that time, the club has won 17 titles and played 358 playoff games at home.
For the first time in those 358 games, Boston wins by a shot at the buzzer. First time!
There were buzzers in away games, six of them (like Dennis Johnson in the 1985 Finals on the Lakers’ court). There were home losses at the last second.
But a home win in the playoffs with a siren is something new.
Even for a team as honorable, great and title-winning as Boston, something can happen for the first time.
The first game of the series ended with a fantastic conclusion. Now six more of these, please.