Boston star Jayson Tatum talks about buzzer-beating play from Marcus Smart in Game 1 Nets win

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The Boston Celtics and their fans are still basking in the afterglow of a buzzer-beating, 115 – 114 Game 1 won over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday afternoon, courtesy of a brilliant last-second pass from veteran point guard Marcus Smart to a cutting Jayson Tatum for a layup that went in as time expired.

There is plenty of time to dissect what went wrong enough to put Boston in a position to need such a miraculous shot to beat the Nets on their own home court in the first place. But after a game they held superstar Nets forward Kevin Durant to just 1-of-5 from beyond the arc and managed to gut out the win, the main focus in the postgame scrum was how Boston’s star forward and Smart managed to pull off the play.

“Honestly, we all thought that Smart was going to shoot it,” said Tatum.

“(It was looking like a) last-second shot, (I would have) just crashed the glass, if it doesn’t go in, try to make a play,” explained the St. Louis native.

“When he took that dribble, we made eye contact, he made a great pass — I just had to make a layup.”

Asked specifically how big it was that Smart had the foresight to pass up a shot to find Tatum as he cut to the basket, Tatum had plenty to say.

“I think it just shows the progression of our team, how far we’ve come from Game 1 in that first two months, obviously, when we were average and we were struggling. And we’ve just been playing it right way the last couple months, and that’s a reason why we’ve been so successful, especially in big moments.”

“It’s all about just trying to make the right play,” he explained.

Boston will need to expand upon that mindset and play something closer to the brand of basketball that got them to the second seed in the East playoffs if they don’t want to be scrapping for every win against a very dangerous Nets squad.

But if nothing else, the final moments of this contest against Brooklyn shows that even when Boston has an off night, their growth as a team has still left them with a formidable baseline to build back from.

This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook!

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