Fans of Yogi Berra’s sage “It ain’t over til it’s over” commentary got to see that in action Tuesday night in the NBA. At home against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Boston Celtics trailed 98-92 with 20 seconds left and 99-94 with 16.8 seconds left. But they managed to come back and win in regulation thanks to this Marcus Morris three-point shot:
— Yahoo Sports NBA (@YahooSportsNBA) March 21, 2018
It took quite the effort to get to a point where Morris could even win it in regulation, though, and that speaks to how well the Celtics played down the stretch and the struggles the Thunder had in the closing seconds. A pair of Russell Westbrook free throws gave Oklahoma City a 98-92 lead with 24.2 seconds left, but Jayson Tatum responded with a finger-roll layup to make it 98-94 with 17.6 left on the clock. Boston then took a timeout and fouled Westbrook after the inbounds pass, and he went one for two from the line to extend the lead back to five.
Terry Rozier then drained a three to cut the lead to 99-97 with 8.4 seconds left, though, and Morris then fouled Carmelo Anthony, who missed both shots. Tatum grabbed that rebound, Boston took their final timeout, and that set-up the game-winning three. Westbrook then missed a final-seconds heave, giving the Celtics the win, and the first comeback in this situation this season:
The Celtics trailed by 5 with 16.8 seconds to go and won.
Entering today, teams were 0-884 this season when trailing by 5 or more points in the final 20 seconds of the game. pic.twitter.com/pgZ87K2gbv
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 21, 2018
That makes for a fun win probability graph:
— statcenter (@statcenter) March 21, 2018
Oh, and this was without Kyrie Irving (knee), too. It took a lot of effort from the likes of Morris (21 points, four rebounds) and Tatum (23 points, 11 rebounds), but the Celtics got the job done. And they did something historic in the process.
[Yahoo Sports NBA on Twitter]