For 32 minutes, Boston Celtics fans were happy with the play of Marcus Smart and his 22 points and 8 assists. Yeah, he got a little embarrassed when Kyle (17 fourth quarter points) Kuzma got him with a spin move midway in the fourth, but Celtics fans were still happy with him, especially when he knocked down two free throws to cut the deficit to two points with 19 seconds left in regulation.
Then, with 5.7 seconds left in the game, Smart put Kentavious Caldwell-no-longer-in-jail-Pope at the free throw line with the Lakers up by one. Pope pulls a Nick Anderson. Smart gets the rebound and instead of passing to a wide-open Terry Rozier or trying to get the ball into the hands of Kyrie Irving — who had 33 points on the night and is known for breaking hearts (on and off the court) — he dribbles down the court, imagines he’s Kobe and pulls up for a 26-foot game-winner, even though they were down by just one. No confetti. Celtics fans collectively screamed their favorite curse words before yelling, “Why didn’t you pass the ball.”
“If felt good when it left my hands,” Said Smart after the game. “I thought it was going in.”
Here’s what Kyrie had to say about the final shot.
“We have end-of-game plays that we’re prepared for but, in basketball, decisions are made and, as a team, we collectively have to live with the results. Tough shot at the end. Marcus took one and that’s that.”