With 4.7 seconds left, the game tied, J.J. Redick sent an errant pass straight into the hands of a sea of Celtics defenders. The crowd yelled, in agony.
Celtics’ guard Terry Rozier scored at the other end with 1.8 seconds left, the crowd booed.
Marco Belinelli made a buzzer-beating jumper in the corner to send the game to overtime, positive pandemonium ensued.
The Celtics center is never going to flash with statistics, though he was solid 13 points, six rebounds, two assists, two steals, three blocks in 41 minutes but he had clutch moments defensively, frustrated Embiid all night and was a driving force behind Boston’s victory. Rookie Jayson Tatum led all scorers with 24 points.
For the Sixers, Joel Embiid flashed back and forth between superstar play and frustration. he attempted 26 shots, and missed 16 of them. He finished with 22 points, 19 rebounds, two assists, one block, one steal and fouled out in overtime.
He’s been around a long time, but I actually believe that he is a far better rider in the last 10 years and he was pretty damned good before then. Forget his age. Trainers want him when a real money race is on the line. There’s a reason they call him ‘Big Money Mike.’
This horse, Smith had said earlier in the week, has the ‘it factor.’ The first time I worked him here, I could feel it. He’s like switch you can turn on or off and that’s not easy with a big horse but he is so light on his feet.
I saw him work when I first arrived here and I thought, ‘Wow, I’m looking at American Pharoah.
The trainer? Well, Baffert, he also knew what he had in this colt but because he saw something special in him and saw potential doom in the record 2.6-inch rainfall that swamped the joint all day long.
He said later, as though to remind himself: I have learned not to worry about things I can’t control.
But he has achieved too much and been around for too long to quite let it go at that. With thoughts of the worst rain to ever hit a Kentucky Derby, he added: He has got to break clean. If he doesn’t, then it’s over for him.