EditorsNote: Fixes Kyrie in 2nd graf; tweaks lede, 5th graf
Jayson Tatum scored all six points for Boston in the final minute Saturday night and finished with a team-high 24 points as the visiting Celtics held off the New York Knicks for a 103-101 victory.
Tatum also had 14 rebounds for the Celtics, who have won two of three to open the season. Marcus Morris and Kyrie Irving had 16 points apiece for Boston while Aron Baynes and Terry Rozier had 10 points each.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 24 points, and Enes Kanter had a double-double (17 points, 15 rebounds) for the Knicks, who have dropped two of three. Trey Burke added 11 points.
The last-minute loss was the second in as many nights for New York, which fell to the Brooklyn Nets, 107-105, on Friday, when Hardaway missed the potential game-winning 3-pointer as time expired.
The Celtics led by as many as 16 in the first quarter, but the Knicks pulled to within 50-48 at the half and tied the score seven times in the third quarter before taking their only lead at 65-64 on Hardaway’s free throw with 3:48 left in the period.
The Celtics led 77-70 after three and expanded the lead to 10 points with eight minutes left in the fourth before the Knicks chipped away again. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Hardaway tied the score at 89-89 with 4:14 remaining. Irving scored five points in a 7-0 run, but New York pulled within 97-95 on a pair of free throws by Lance Thomas with 1:16 left.
Tatum’s dunk with 59.1 seconds remaining made it a two-possession game. Thomas responded with a 3-pointer 10-seconds later, but Tatum drained a contested turnaround jumper to give the Celtics a 101-98 lead with 21.1 seconds left. Burke’s dunk closed the gap to one again before Tatum hit two free throws with 7.9 seconds to go.
Tatum dodged potential disaster with 1.9 seconds left, when he fouled Burke on a desperation 3-pointer from just inside half-court. But Burke missed the first free throw. After making the second, he intentionally missed the third. The rebound bounced beyond the 3-point arc to Al Horford, who dribbled out the clock.
—Field Level Media