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Boston Celtics defeat Brooklyn Nets in thriller: NBA world reacts

Vincent Frank

The Boston Celtics were involved in a back-and-forth affair at TD Garden against the Brooklyn Nets in Game 1 of their first-round NBA Playoff series.

Boston held an 11-point lead heading into the fourth quarter before the combination of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant stepped up for the No. 7 seed Nets.

As the two teams exchanged leads in the final moments, an Irving three-pointer gave Brooklyn the lead with less than a minute left.

It also set up a two-for-one for the homestanding Boston Celtics. After a Jaylen Brown lay-up with 38.9 seconds remaining, Boston’s league-best defense stopped the Nets in their tracks — leading to a Durant missed 28-foot three-point attempt.

Rather than call a timeout, the Celtics opted to run it down the floor. That’s when the insane happened. Moving the ball around the perimeter, Marcus Smart ended up finding Jayson Tatum for the lay in as time expired to give the Celtics a shocking 115-114 win. Check it out.

What an absolutely brilliant pass from Marcus Smart just as it looked like the Celtics’ offense was in disarray.

We also have to give Celtics head coach Ime Udoka credit for not calling a timeout after the Nets’ previous possession. Keep the defense on its heels and see what happens. Obviously, it worked out for the Boston Celtics as they took a 1-0 series lead.

An absolute superstar in the truest sense of the term, Tatum led the Celtics with 31 points on 9-of-18 shooting. Irving paced the Nets with 39 points while Durant chipped in 23 points on just 9-of-24 shooting after making NBA Playoff history earlier in the game.

Related: 2022 NBA Playoff and championship predictions

NBA world reacts to thrilling Boston Celtics Game 1 win