The Boston Celtics weren't able to emerge with a win against the Los Angeles Clippers despite fighting hard throughout the evening. They came up just short in the 107-104 loss, but they had several notable hustle plays.
That said, no play was more notable than Marcus Smart's in overtime. With just over 30 seconds left and the Celtics trailing by three, the Clippers took the ball up the court. Lou Williams was holding the ball and attempting to get it to Kawhi Leonard, but Smart guarded the dribble handoff well.
Williams attempted to make the pass but Smart got a hand on it. And before the ball went out of bounds, Smart dove after the ball and successfully threw it back at Leonard's foot while just inches off the ground. The ball skittered out of bounds and it became Celtics ball.
The play created an extra possession for the C's and gave them the opportunity to tie the game up once again. It also drew the attention of Celtics GM Danny Ainge, who seemingly gave the play his stamp of approval on Twitter.
Smart is no stranger to hustle plays. He usually makes at least one or two a game with his elite instincts. This play was particularly timely, so it's no surprise that Ainge was happy with it.
Against the Clippers, Smart totaled 15 points, eight assists, three rebounds, and two steals. He has been a big part of the Celtics' success so far this season and will continue to be a key part of the team's core moving forward.
Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Nuggets, which tips off Friday at 8 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live, then Mike & Scal have the call of the game at 9 p.m. You can also stream the game through the MyTeams App.