From Jayson Tatum’s sidestep three as the first half came to a close to Marcus Smart bringing the TD Garden crowd to their feet, and a trio of plays from Jaylen Brown amid his fourth-quarter takeover, here are the top five plays from Game 3 between the Celtics and Heat.
Jayson Tatum’s Sidestep Three as the First Half Ends
Initially, Jayson Tatum jockeys with PJ Tucker, trying to get the ball in the pinch post. Marcus Smart then walks Gabe Vincent into a Tatum screen, getting Tucker switched off the three-time All-Star. Still, Tatum has to blow out to the right-wing.
But when Smart shoots the gap, Vincent helps against his drive. Rather than remaining stationary, Tatum sinks to the corner, where Smart can finally get him the ball. Tatum then fakes out Vincent as he closes on him and sidesteps his way to a three that he knocks down as the first half comes to a close.
Marcus Smart Brings the Crowd to Their Feet
Smart badly rolled his right ankle while pursuing an offensive rebound early in the third quarter. He had to get helped to the locker room, but the player who the Celtics have dubbed the heart and soul of the team returned to the floor a few minutes later.
And on his first offensive possession after re-entering the game, when Grant Williams screens Tucker, Max Strus runs to help Victor Oladipo against Tatum. That leaves Smart open, and Tatum delivers him the ball as Smart sinks to the left corner. With Oladipo running to close out on him, Smart up-fakes, sidesteps, and swishes a three, sending the TD Garden crowd into a frenzy.
Jaylen Brown at His Best in the Final Frame
Jaylen Brown scored 14 of his game-high 40 points in the fourth quarter. The play above starts with him grabbing the Oladipo miss. Grant Williams obstructs Tucker, so Kyle Lowry slides over to guard Brown. However, his pick-up point is low, affording Brown space to build momentum as he heads downhill. Brown then helicopters the ball over Lowry as he skips by him, and his floater falls through the net.
Jaylen Brown Knives His Way to the Basket
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Lowry loses the ball on the drive, and Williams secures it for the Celtics. Al Horford screens Tucker off Brown at the other end, and Bam Adebayo switches onto him. Adebayo does a terrific job against Brown, including after he gives up the ball. That prompts Smart to signal to Brown to screen Strus to get him switched onto Brown.
Smart gets the ball back to Brown at the right wing, and with Strus on his side, he gets downhill, snakes his way into the paint, jump stops, and goes back to his right, knifing in for a layup against Tucker.
Jaylen Brown Continues His Fourth-Quarter Takeover
Sticking with the theme of Brown carrying Boston’s offense in the fourth quarter, here, Tatum kicks the ball out to Smart, tells Horford to screen for Brown, and Smart sends it his way. With Horford picking Oladipo and Adebayo staying underneath the screen, Brown pulls from 25 feet and drills a three, earning a “bang!” call from ESPN play-by-play announcer Mike Breen.
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