Jayson Tatum made a layup at the buzzer off a pass from Marcus Smart to give the Boston Celtics a dramatic 115-114 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday in the Game 1 of the Eastern Conference first-round series.
Tatum scored 16 of his 31 points in the second half, the final two after a poised Boston possession in the frantic final seconds. Jaylen Brown dribbled toward the middle and swung the ball out to Smart, who fired it into a cutting Tatum, who spun around and dropped in his layup just before time expired.
Brown added 23 points. Al Horford had 20 points and 15 rebounds, and Smart finished with 20 points, including four 3-pointers.
Kyrie Irving had with 39 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter, for Brooklyb. But the Celtics forced the ball out of his hands the last time Brooklyn had it and Kevin Durant missed a jumper with a one-point lead that set up the Celtics’ final possession.
Durant added 23 points, but shot just 9 of 24.
Game 2 is Wednesday night in Boston.
SUNS 110, PELICANS 99
PHOENIX (AP) — Chris Paul scored 19 of his 30 points during a brilliant fourth-quarter shooting display and Phoenix beat New Orleans in Game 1 of the Western Conference series.
The top-seeded Suns needed Paul’s big finish despite dominating most of the game. The Pelicans shook off a slow start, cutting a 23-point deficit to 79-71 by the end of the third. New Orleans kept hitting shots in the fourth, but that’s when Paul took over, hitting three 3-pointers and a layup in 2 1/2 minutes in a flurry that kept the Pelicans chasing.
Paul shot 12 for 16 from the field, including 4 of 6 on 3-pointers. Devin Booker added 25 points, and Deandre Ayton 21 points, nine rebounds and four blocks. CJ McCollum led the Pelicans with 25 points, Valanciunas added 18 points and 25 rebounds. Brandon Ingram also scored 18 points.
Game 2 is Tuesday night in Phoenix.
BUCKS 93, BULLS 86
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo had 27 points and 16 rebounds and defending champion Milwaukee recovered to beat Chicago after blowing a 16-point lead in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference series.
Jrue Holiday made a go-ahead 3-pointer with 5:03 left as part of an 8-0 run that gave the Bucks an 85-78 edge. The Bulls got the margin down to one but could never regain the lead, as Zach LaVine missed a potential tying 3-pointer from nearly 30 feet away with 29 seconds left.
The Bucks have won 17 of their last 18 meetings with the Bulls, including all five matchups this season.
Nikola Vucevic had 24 points and 17 rebounds for Chicago.
Game 2 is Wednesday night in Chicago.
HEAT 115, HAWKS 91
MIAMI (AP) — Duncan Robinson set a franchise playoff record with eight 3-pointers and Miami forced Trae Young into matching the worst-shooting game of his career in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference series.
Robinson scored 27 points on 9-of-10 shooting for the top-seeded Heat, going 8 of 9 from 3-point range. Jimmy Butler scored 21 points, and P.J. Tucker had 16.
Young went 1 for 12, matching his effort against Chicago on Jan. 23, 2019. Danilo Gallinari led Atlanta with 17 points, and De’Andre Hunter had 14.
Game 2 is Tuesday night in Miami. (AP)
(Photo credits to: AP)