Marcus Smart watched a perfect attempt for his first career buzzer-beater touch every part of the rim that normally guides a shot down before it rolled out against the Kings last week. In the rematch, he dealt with Buddy Hield’s career night, but got into the lane twice to hit a pair of runners to avenge his prior misfortune in the lane.
Smart became only the fourth Celtic to post seven assists, five steals, zero turnovers and shoot 50% in a game — per Sean Grande.
Brad Stevens: “We zoned on the last play and Rob Williams covered for us.”
Brad Stevens coached up a storm as the Kings crept behind 3-of-4 shooting from three in the final sequence of the game. Boston held the ball up 103-102 with the ball thanks to Marcus Smart’s pair of shots in the lane and strip on Bogdan Bogdanovic. Stevens then called consecutive timeouts on the inbounds, leading to a failed three in the corner by Jayson Tatum. “At least it was a dead ball turnover,” he said. “Rob Williams did a great job covering the corner for us.”
Marcus Smart: “When I shot it and I seen it on the rim I said, not again. I gotta get it this time.”
Smart capped his revenge night against the Kings running into the locker room, nursing his left arm. He aggravated a left finger injury twice during the game. He’ll see how it feels on Tuesday. In his time off the floor, he gave kudos to Tremont Waters for a successful debut, where he controlled the game with his ball-handling.
Tony Schena (Celtics team doctor): “(Kemba Walker) had no significant structural damage.”
The Celtics’ team doctor took the podium for a rare presser before Kings vs. Celtics. He explained the steps Nuggets doctors and staff at a Denver hospital took before Boston placed him in concussion protocol as a precaution. Walker could’ve moved after the scary injury — thankfully Schena had the humor to joke about Semi Ojeleye as a wall too — but the Celtics took spinal injury precautions. After, Walker passed multiple x-rays, MRIs and the concussion comeback steps which will be capped by practice on Tuesday. All signs point toward a miraculously speedy return.
Tremont Waters: “It’s a surreal feeling.”
The Celtics called Waters up from Maine for depth following Walker’s injury and he immediately contributed in his NBA debut with seven points, three assists, a pair of blocks and a steal. Boston outscored the Kings by 20 with the 5’10” Connecticut native on the floor. Coaches and players alike lauded his ability to control the flow and pace of the game. Brown called him “young old head.”
Jaylen Brown: “It would’ve been great to compete against (Kyrie Irving).”
“We’ll catch him next time,” Brown said, not aware that Irving will not play against the Celtics when the Nets arrive on Wednesday. Brown may guard Irving on Friday in Brooklyn, but he’s largely ignored the developments there this season. He’ll watch film to catch up on the Nets today. As for the Kings win, he gave credit to the young players for entering prepared.