Game is on the line, the Boston Celtics are reeling, in desperate need of someone, anyone to step up and make big baskets.
These are the moments that Kyrie Irving lives for, and for good reason.
More often than not, he steps up to save the day.
And on Saturday night, he once again delivered when it mattered most as the Celtics held off a late Miami rally to escape with a 96-90 win.
Irving finished with 24 points which included him scoring nine of the Celtics' last ten. The victory extends their winning streak to four straight.
"End of the game, it's winning time." Irving told NBC Sports Boston's Abby Chin following the win. "
Boston seemed to have control of the game even before Irving’s late-game scoring spurt, but a technical foul call against Jaylen Brown changed the game’s momentum in the fourth quarter.
Miami made the technical free throw with 4:03 to play and then scored the next six to make it a one-possession game, 86-84.
Following a Boston timeout with 2:16 to play, it was clear what the plan was going forward: let Irving take over.
And that he did, scoring nine straight in an assortment of ways such as driving lay-ups, a 3-pointer and from the free throw line.
Al Horford, who had a near double-double of 12 points and nine rebounds, made the second of two free throws with 10.9 seconds to play for Boston’s last point of the night.
The first half was relatively close, but Boston pulled ahead by as many as nine points (43-34) in the second quarter, only for the Heat to come back with a 13-4 to tie the game at 47.
That appeared to be how the half would end, but a full-court pass took advantage of a sleeping Heat defense and allowed Irving to score the go-ahead basket to give Boston a 49-47 lead at the half.
Boston continued its solid play in the third quarter, in large part to what was shaping up to be a solid game for Jayson Tatum who scored nine of his 20 points in the third quarter which ended with Boston on top, 74-65.
Miami opened the fourth with a 10-4 spurt that was fueled in large part by a familiar face for the Celtics – Kelly Olynyk.
Olynyk, who spent his first four seasons with the Celtics, signed a four-year, $50 million contract with the Heat this summer.
And it was money well spent considering the impact Olynyk had while coming off Miami’s bench. He was particularly effective in the fourth quarter, scoring six points during Miami’s 10-4 spurt to start the fourth which included him scoring on a lay-up to cut Boston’s lead to 78-75 with 7:49 to play. He would finish with a near double-double of 14 points and nine rebounds.