It’s been a tumultuous day in America, as armed rioters stormed the Capitol building in Washington in a failed effort to thwart the certification of the Electoral College results that will make Joe Biden the next president. Before tip-off of their Wednesday night match-up, the Celtics and Heat came together to issue a statement denouncing the hypocrisy of the way far-right terrorists were treated today versus the violence against Black Lives Matter protesters this past year.
But as they indicated in their joint statement, the two teams wanted to bring some joy to fans, and they did precisely that with a barn-burner of a finish that came all the way down to the wire in regulation. The two teams went back and forth in the final minutes of the game, as the Heat overcame a double-digit lead to tie the game at 105-105 with the Celtics taking control of the final possession.
And on the ensuing possession, it was rookie Payton Pritchard who came through in the clutch with the game-winning tip-in with 0.2 left on the clock.
Payton Pritchard hits the shots with 0.2 seconds elft in the 4th pic.twitter.com/nlxhOT6m4j
— Main Team (@MainTeamSports) January 7, 2021
Even better was his reaction after the play that is the biggest highlight of his young career.
Payton Pritchard’s reaction to his game-winner is everything I needed today. pic.twitter.com/TlVwy0BvAM
— Taylor Snow (@taylorcsnow) January 7, 2021
Pritchard had a rough shooting night, going just 3-of-10 from the field to finish with six points on the night, but came up huge for his team when it mattered the most.
Jayson Tatum led the way for the Celtics with 27 points and five threes on the night, and together with Jaylen Brown knocked down several big shots late in the fourth quarter to spark a 13-0 run that gave Boston a double-digit lead with just under two minutes remaining.
But the Heat came storming all the way back behind a pair of Duncan Robinson three-pointers, one of which was a four-point play, and another late three from Dragic to tie the game at 105-105 prior to Pritchard’s heroics on the final play. Those threes made Robinson the fastest player to reach 300 three-pointers made, which he did in just 95 career games, ahead of both Damian Lillard and Luka Doncic, who took 117 games each.