Celtics secure narrow win, thanks to late three-pointer
Eastern Conference leaders bounce back after losing to Golden State
Kyrie Irving delivered 27 points and forward Jaylen Brown rattled in a clutch three-pointer with 34 seconds left as the Boston Celtics edged the Denver Nuggets 111-110 yesterday morning (Singapore time).
Irving scored 10 points in the fourth quarter and shot 11-of-17 from the field overall for the Celtics, who bounced back to win after their 109-105 defeat at the Golden State Warriors on Sunday.
Jayson Tatum added 20 points and Marcus Morris came off the bench to score 14. Daniel Theis added 11 points and Al Horford tallied 10 for the Celtics, who were 17-of-36 from three-point range.
Brown's three-pointer from the left corner turned out to be the game-winning shot, reported Reuters.
The contest was tied at 108 when Brown received a pass from Horford in the left corner and lofted the winning shot.
The ball went in-and-out and touched off the glass and went back in with 33.3 seconds to play.
Jamal Murray scored on a lay-up with 28.1 seconds left to get Denver back within one.
Irving missed a jumper with 7.2 seconds left and the Nuggets' chance for a season-best fourth straight win came up empty when Will Barton's last-second three-point attempt didn't even hit the rim.
Brown told the Celtics website that he knew the ball was coming to him at the left corner before he converted what turned out to be the winner.
"I knew Al (Horford) was going to pass it, that's why I was ready to shoot it," he told the website.
"Al's the type of guy who makes the right play... I knew it was coming. That's what I was thinking, hit it."
Boston coach Brad Stevens said: "They put us in some tough spots and I thought our guys battled. We missed some good opportunities on offence. But we found a way."
Brown also hopes that the late victory will help them sustain a winning momentum after losing two and winning two on the road.
He said: "We needed this (victory). This was one we needed to get away with, leave the road trip, split... get back to business when we get back to Boston."
The Celtics will be aiming to consolidate their top spot in the Eastern Conference with a run of three consecutive home games. They host the New York Knicks tomorrow, Atlanta Hawks on Saturday and the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday.
Indiana 105 Charlotte 96, Atlanta 105 Minnesota 100, Memphis 120 Phoenix 109, Milwaukee 107 Philadelphia 95, Dallas 88 Miami 95