The Boston Celtics narrowly avoided another disaster Monday night at TD Garden.
It looked like the C's were headed toward another fourth-quarter collapse, but Jayson Tatum came through with a clutch game-tying shot to force overtime vs. the Indiana Pacers.
Boston was able to hold off Indiana in OT and earn the 101-98 victory. Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 26 points, 15 rebounds, and six assists. Tatum notched 24 points and 12 rebounds.
Damontas Sabonis starred for the Pacers with 11 points, a whopping 23 rebounds, and 10 assists. Torrey Craig tallied 19 points off the bench.
Here are three takeaways from the Celtics' win, which brings them to 20-21 on the season. They'll take on the Pacers again Wednesday night in Indiana.
An ugly game on both sides
A win is a win, but the Celtics certainly didn't make it easy on themselves. They nearly collapsed (again) in the fourth quarter, blowing an 11-point lead before Tatum woke from his slumber to bail them out and force overtime.
The fourth-quarter woes weren't the only issue for the C's in the low-scoring affair. They turned the ball over 20 times and shot only 39.8 percent from the field (28.6% from 3). Fortunately for them, the Pacers were just as bad. Indiana had 17 turnovers while shooting 38.3% from the field and 29.7% from 3.
The difference is the fully-healthy Celtics were taking on a depleted Pacers team that sits 13th in the Eastern Conference. For a team as talented as Boston to play the way it did against Indiana at home is a head-scratcher. It'll go down as a much-needed tally in the win column, but it wasn't exactly the most reassuring performance.
A tale of two Jayson Tatums
The box score is a bit misleading when it comes to Tatum's performance on Monday night. The Celtics All-Star had a double-double and stepped up in the clutch to force OT, but he's also one of the reasons Boston was put in a position to lose in the first place.
Tatum had more turnovers (eight) than shots made (seven). The 23-year-old missed all seven of his 3-point attempts and went 7-of-21 from the floor. He notched only one assist during his 42 minutes on the court.
He ended up being a key contributor down the stretch, but Tatum needs to be more consistent in all four quarters if the Celtics are going to right the ship this season.
Robert Williams stays hot
Tatum's shot saved the C's in the fourth, but the game wouldn't have even been close if not for the efforts of Robert Williams.
Williams came through for the Celtics time and time again with key plays on both ends of the floor. The big man stuffed the stat sheet with 14 points, 12 rebounds, four steals, and three blocks.
While we're on the subject of consistency, Williams has been one of Boston's most consistent players all season long. His defense has been especially noticeable lately as he's averaging 8.3 rebounds, 4.3 blocks and 1.3 steals so far in January.