In a wild finish to a surprisingly epic game at Staples Center, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope missed two free throws that would have put the Lakers 110-107 up with around five seconds remaining.
That gave the Celtics the chance to win the game. Smart dribbled up the court, checked back and launched a contested jump-shot that bounced out, agonizingly.
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The internet was predictably unforgiving on Smart, the 23-year-old sixth overall pick from the 2014 NBA Draft. In its postgame analysis, Masslive.com pointed out that Smart had an open Terry Rozier he could have passed to, in the knowledge that a two-point shot would have won the game. A low-percentage three-pointer wasn’t Smart’s best option but it was understandable amid the chaos.
"His [Smart’s] decision-making in the frantic final seconds was questionable,” Masslive.com concluded. “But the final seconds were just that: Frantic. Smart’s shot looks terrible at first, and still bad but a little better upon closer examination.”
Boston’s most famous fan in sports media was a little more, uh, blunt. “ IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING I WOULD HAVE RATHER HAD KYRIE IRVING TAKE THE LAST SHOT TONIGHT OVER MARCUS SMART.” Bill Simmons tweeted after the game.
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