Celtics’ Jayson Tatum lights up NBA world with game-winning lay up to beat Nets

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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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Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) passes the ball under pressure from Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams (12) in the first half of Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round Eastern Conference playoff series, Sunday, April 17, 2022, in Boston.

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) passes the ball under pressure from Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams (12) in the first half of Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round Eastern Conference playoff series, Sunday, April 17, 2022, in Boston.
(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

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.

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) celebrates with guard Derrick White (9) after making a layup at the buzzer to score and win Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round Eastern Conference playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets, Sunday, April 17, 2022, in Boston. The Celtics won 115-114.

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) celebrates with guard Derrick White (9) after making a layup at the buzzer to score and win Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round Eastern Conference playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets, Sunday, April 17, 2022, in Boston. The Celtics won 115-114.
(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

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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.

Boston Celtics center Al Horford, front left, and forward Jayson Tatum, front right, celebrate after Tatum made a layup at the buzzer to score and win Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round Eastern Conference playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets, Sunday, April 17, 2022, in Boston. The Celtics won 115-114.
(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

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.