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Boston’s Xavier Tillman, Sr. knew his game-winner was going in vs. the Sacramento Kings

If you were expecting Boston Celtics backup big man Xavier Tillman, Sr. to hit the game-winning shot against the Sacramento Kings to secure a 101-100 win against the Kings at TD Garden this (April 5) past Friday night, you were likely in the minority of Celtics fans.

But that is how the game played out vs. a hungry Kings squad, with Tillman’s late floater the icing on a very unusual cake as far as Boston wins go this season. Tillman walked us through what he saw in that final sequence postgame when speaking to CLNS Media, nothing that “Sam (Hauser) was driving for him to get the game-winning shot, and somebody came over — maybe (Keegan) Murray — and blocked the shot.”

“Then Sam got the steal and tipped it out to me,” he explained. “I caught it, saw that the paint was open, and made a crossover move.”

“They stepped up, and then I shot the (floater),” added the Celtics center.  “It felt good as soon as it left my hand — I knew it was good.”

With some luck, Boston will be able to lean on the depth that built them the NBA’s best record for 2023-24 in the 2024 postseason. But this tinkering by head coach Joe Mazzulla has also helped us see that the Celtics’ bench is also capable of digging deep when called on vs. quality opponents in crunch time.

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire