Jayson Tatum countered a game-tying 3-pointer by Marcus Morris by sinking a game-winning 21-footer with 1.3 seconds remaining Friday night, allowing the host Boston Celtics to outlast the New York Knicks 104-102 in a tightly contested game.
In a rematch of a 118-95 Celtics win in New York last week, neither team led by more than seven points. Each of the first three periods ended with a one-point difference, with the Knicks leading after the first two and the Celtics up 75-74 after the third.
The Celtics grabbed a 90-88 lead on a Gordon Hayward 3-pointer with 4:53 remaining.
Boston led 100-95 inside the final minute, but Morris, making his first return to Boston since leaving as a free agent over the summer, nearly singlehandedly forced overtime.
His two free throws with 57.4 seconds left cut the New York deficit to three, and when he buried two more foul shots with 17.7 seconds remaining, it was a one-point game.
Kemba Walker countered with a pair of free throws with 13.5 seconds to go to push Boston’s lead back to 102-99. Morris then drained his third 3-pointer of the final four minutes to create the fourth tie of the fourth quarter at 102-all with 4.7 seconds to go.
After a timeout, Marcus Smart found Tatum for his game-winner.
Walker led all scorers with 33 points for the Celtics, who won their fourth straight after a season-opening loss at Philadelphia.
Tatum added 24 points, Hayward 13 and Grant Williams 10.
Hitting five 3-pointers, Morris finished with 29 points for the Knicks, who completed a two-game trip that began with a 95-83 loss at Orlando on Wednesday.
RJ Barrett had 15 points, Bobby Portis 13, Kevin Knox II 12 and Frank Ntilikina 10 for New York.
The Knicks’ Julius Randle was the game’s leading rebounder with 10 to go with eight points and five assists.
—Field Level Media