With the score in Detroit tied at 92 and time running out, Boston Celtics forward Jae Crowder missed a lightly contested corner 3-ball that eventually wound up in the hands of Al Horford for the game-winning put-back basket.
Following the game, Horford naturally was the game’s star as the Celtics won 94-92 and he tallied a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds not to mention sealing the victory with a last-second blocked shot.
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But the X-factor for Boston in the victory was Marcus Smart, who crashed the boards following Crowder’s miss which led to the ball ending up in Horford’s hands for the game-winning score with 1.3 seconds to play.
Following the game, Horford was quick to point to Smart’s hustle as being the key to that last-second sequence of plays which led to Boston’s win.
Horford was asked about the put-back basket and he said, “The credit is to Marcus. That’s championship plays, winning plays he made right there. He literally crashed the ball hard right there. I just put it back in. That was that.”
Smart did not have one of his better nights shooting the ball, missing eight of his nine attempts from the field while scoring two points.
But he did make his presence felt on the boards where he wound up grabbing seven rebounds in addition to dishing out three assists without a single turnover.
Saturday’s game was the kind of performance we have come to expect from Smart.
He’ll have his share of games in which he won’t shoot the ball well.
But to his credit, he tends to find a way to make his presence felt in other facets of the game.
Usually it’s clutch plays defensively, like the late-game steal he had against the Dallas Mavericks earlier this week that helped Boston escape with a win.
But on Saturday, Smart went above and beyond what he normally does in terms of rebounding in which the Celtics were relatively close to the Piston who won the battle of the boards 50-46.