Marcus Smart has sent the NBA world into a frenzy with an incredible moment late in the Boston Celtics’ win over Toronto in Game 7.
The Celtics are moving on to the Eastern Conference Finals after beating the Raptors 92-87 on Friday.
‘EVIL GENIUS’: Uproar over NBA coach's devious act
Jayson Tatum was the stand-out for Boston, but it was Smart who stole the headlines with an insane chase-down block late in the fourth quarter.
With the Celtics leading 89-87 with a minute remaining and the Raptors on a roll, Norman Powell had a chance to level the scores with a layup on a fast break.
But Smart chased him down and made a phenomenal block, preserving the Celtics’ lead that they would never relinquish.
Fans and commentators were in awe of Smart’s incredible play.
Holy hell that Marcus Smart block.
— Jay King (@ByJayKing) September 12, 2020
marcus smart when you need him. wow what an awesome block
— Chris Vernon (@ChrisVernonShow) September 12, 2020
WHAT A BLOCK BY MARCUS SMART
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) September 12, 2020
a marcus smart block and a jayson tatum rebound — that was the difference in winning or losing a seven game series
— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) September 12, 2020
Marcus Smart was INSANE in that game (except shooting wide open 3s).
— Brian Kervick (@bkervick) September 12, 2020
Marcus Smart with the greatest chase down block in a game 7 in nba history
— Dr. Guru 💯 (@DrGuru_) September 12, 2020
Tatum scored 29 points and Jaylen Brown had 21 as the Celtics dethroned the reigning NBA champions.
Smart scored 16 points and Kemba Walker added 14 for third-seeded Boston. The Celtics will face the fifth-seeded Miami Heat in the East finals.
Fred VanVleet scored 20 points for Toronto, who got 16 from Kyle Lowry, 14 from Serge Ibaka, 13 from Pascal Siakam and 11 from Powell.
The Raptors were bidding to become the seventh franchise in NBA history to win four consecutive Game 7's.
Boston scored the first seven points of the fourth, taking an eight-point lead. The Celtics never trailed in the final quarter, though it was close all the way to the end.
Paul Millsap helps Nuggets stun Clippers
Earlier, the Denver Nuggets overcame a 15-point second-half deficit to stun the Los Angeles Clippers 111-105 in Game 5 of their series.
Paul Millsap scored 14 of his 17 points in the third quarter, while Michael Porter Jr made a late three-pointer to secure the victory.
Denver - down 16 in the first half - trailed 61-46 with 9:42 remaining in the third before rallying behind the 35-year-old Millsap.
The Nuggets took their first lead on Nikola Jokic's three-pointer with 7:06 left and extended it to eight.
After the Clippers pulled within a basket, Porter hit a deep three-pointer with 1:11 remaining to all but wrap it up.
Jamal Murray finished with 26 points while Jokic added 22 points and 14 rebounds to help the Nuggets pull to 3-2 in the best-of-seven series.
Game 6 is on Sunday.