Gordon Hayward was the star of the Boston Celtics' thrilling 111-109 road win over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night, and deservedly so after he hit what ended up being the game-winning shot in the final 10 seconds.
However, if not for the clutch play of Jayson Tatum late in the fourth quarter, the C's might have blown that game and potentially undone some of the momentum created from Tuesday's blowout victory over the Golden State Warriors.
Tatum scored six points over the final 90 seconds of Wednesday's victory. He hit a pair of free throws to increase Boston's lead to 105-101 with 1:27 left to play. Kings guard Buddy Hield came down and hit a 3-pointer on the next possession to bring Sacramento within one point of the lead, but Tatum put the C's back up three by sinking a tough turnaround jumper with 47.9 seconds remaining.
The Kings would again trim the Celtics lead to one, and Tatum was fouled with 15.9 seconds left and given a chance to extend the advantage back to three points. He again sunk both free throws, and the C's went up 109-106.
Tatum hasn't even played two full seasons as a pro and he's already proven to be a dependable late-game player. We saw it in the playoffs last season, and we're seeing more evidence during the 2018-19 campaign. He's actually shooting 90.9 percent from the foul line in the final two minutes of games where the leading margin is five points or fewer, per NBA.com.
Here's Kyrie Irving talking about Tatum's ability in the clutch from December of last season, which was pretty early in the 21-year-old forward's career.
Tatum is one of the rare young players who thrives in these high-pressure moments and doesn't try to force anything. He remains cool, calm and collected in the clutch, and that should be a huge benefit to the Celtics come playoff time.
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The list of Boston Celtics greats is lengthy, one filled with players whose basketball exploits will live on forever in the minds and hearts of Celtics Nation and basketball fans across the globe.
But in taking their place as the league’s forebearers of greatness, behind them stood men whose many contributions on and off the court — while not as noticeable — are important when it comes to the narrative surrounding the Boston Celtics franchise and its ascension to becoming the NBA’s first great basketball dynasty.
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The Celtics have won more NBA titles (17) than any team in league history. That includes a stretch in which they won 11 titles in 13 seasons, the kind of dominance we have not seen since, and will likely never see again.
Bill Russell. Bob Cousy. Larry Bird.
Those are just some of the names that come to mind right away when conversations steer towards historical excellence among the Celtics franchise.
But there are so many others whose contributions to the franchise’s success have largely gone ignored, cast aside or simply forgotten about as the sands of time move on when it comes to the growth and evolution of the most storied franchise in NBA history.
Here we shed some light on those contributors divided into three groups but collectively make up, “The Forgotten 50.”
Part 1: The Early Years | Part 2: Behind the Dynasty (coming June 2) | Part 3: Franchise in Transition (coming June 9)
Tom Brady has edged Michael Jordan, it appears.
Sunday's "The Match: Champions for Charity" golf match pitting Brady and Phil Mickelson against Peyton Manning and Tiger Woods averaged 5.8 million TV viewers across TNT, TBS, truTV and HLN, according to Turner Sports.
Here's the context behind that number: It makes Sunday's event the most-watched golf telecast in cable television history and the highest-rated program on TV that day.
Remarkably, "The Match" also drew more average viewers than ESPN's "The Last Dance," the 10-part documentary series on Jordan and the Chicago Bulls that averaged 5.65 million same-day viewers per episode.
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For further context: Game 4 of the 2019 World Series averaged 10.2 million TV viewers, less than double the ratings for a charity golf match.
Such is the current sports media landscape with all North American professional sports on hold, though. While "The Last Dance" dug up the past, "The Match" was an actual sporting event featuring four of the biggest names in sports.
Brady obviously was a big draw, as this was one of the quarterback's first public appearances since leaving the New England Patriots to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency.
TB12 didn't exactly light it up on the course -- he and Mickelson lost to Woods and Manning -- but still created plenty of buzz by sinking a miracle shot for birdie, ripping his pants on the course and trading barbs with Manning.
Until sports return in 2020, expect events like these to capture America's full attention.