It didn’t start pretty, but it ended a classic. Was this a 2020 Finals preview?
After the first half of the game, it looked like it would be an ugly win for whoever ended up being the victor. The Celtics started the game 0-16 from 3, and no one on the Clippers got into a decent groove. Then the second half came when Jayson Tatum started to catch fire, Lou Williams became Lou Williams and much more. The Celtics lead by seven with around two minutes remaining and in a blink of an eye the Clippers retook the lead. Lou Williams drained the three to give the Clippers a one point lead with around 31.7 seconds remaining. Moments later, Jayson Tatum sent Paul George to the ground with a nasty crossover and he drilled the game tying three with 13.1 seconds remaining which eventually lead to overtime after Kawhi missed the potential game winner
In overtime, the Clippers got off to a hot start and, yet again, the Celtics slowly crept back, but ended up falling short after Kawhi blocked Kemba Walker’s potential game winning three as time expired. On a night where most were looking to see how Kawhi and Paul George would work together, Patrick Beverley was the star of the night. He hit multiple clutch shots, grabbed huge rebounds and played typical Pat Bev defense. He ended the night with 14 points, a career high 16 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks, and was a +17 which was tied for the best on the team. Some negatives tonight are that Montrezl Harrell struggled and was held to just 6 points, Kawhi Leonard was not as good as her normally is and the Clippers turned over the ball 23 times.
On the other side, Jayson Tatum had a spectacular game. He finished the night with 30 points on 50% shooting from the field. Brad Wanamaker played a huge role off the bench as he finished with 14 points. Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, and Kemba Walker struggled. They finished the night shooting 14 of 51 from the field which is awful. Enes Kanter also gave them a solid 8 points and 6 rebounds off the bench.
The Celtics were without Gordon Hayward and had some questionable calls go against them which begs to ask the question of if we just witnessed a Finals preview. If the Finals were anything like this, sign me up!