Celtics rally from 32-point deficit, top Spurs 143-140 in OT

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San Antonio Spurs forward DeMar DeRozan (10) drives to the basket against the defense of Boston Celtics forwards Jayson Tatum, left, and Aaron Nesmith during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, April 30, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

BOSTON – Jaylen Brown hit a 3-pointer with 16.7 seconds remaining in overtime, Jayson Tatum scored a career-high 60 points and the Boston Celtics rallied from a 32-point deficit to beat the San Antonio Spurs 143-140 on Friday night.

Tatum, whose previous career best was 53 points scored against Minnesota on April 9, scored 21 in the fourth quarter, then added 10 in the overtime to cap the improbable comeback with a pair of free throws that sealed it with four seconds remaining.

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Brown finished with 17 points, Marcus Smart had 10 points and 12 assists, and Aaron Nesmith had 16 points and six rebounds for Boston.

Tristan Thompson pulled down 15 rebounds and scored eight points for the Celtics, who moved a half-game up on idle Miami for sixth in the Eastern Conference standings.

San Antonio shot 71.4% in the first half, leading by as many as 32 points in the second quarter. The Spurs held a 31-point lead in the third before the Celtics started a furious rally that required an extra five minutes to complete.

DeMar DeRozan had 30 points and 14 assists for the Spurs. Dejounte Murray and Lonnie Walker IV finished with 24 points each, and Jakob Poeltl finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds.


Spurs: Murray hit his first nine shots and didn’t miss until midway through the third quarter. … G Derrick White (right ankle sprain) missed his third straight game. … F Trey Lyles was also out with a right ankle sprain.

Celtics: Tatum scored 14 of the Celtics’ 16 points in the first quarter. Tristan Thompson was the only other Boston player to score in the first period. … G Kemba Walker (left oblique strain) missed his third straight game. … Smart returned from a one-game suspension handed down by the NBA for “threatening language” he directed at a referee Tuesday night during Boston’s 119-115 loss to Oklahoma City.


Spurs: Host the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night.

Celtics: Host the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday night.


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