Boston Celtics

Marcus Smart's clutch block powers Celtics past champion Raptors, and other observations

After Jayson Tatum missed a layup with a minute left, Normal Powell broke free on a fast-break with a chance to tie the game, with only a backpedaling Marcus Smart in his way.

Smart said that in the moment he thought back to Powell’s big 3-point play on a similar sequence in Toronto’s Game 6 double-overtime win.

Smart met Powell in midair and swatted his layup attempt off the backboard, preserving the lead and ultimately saving Boston’s 92-87 Game 7 win that will send it to the conference finals against the Heat.

The Celtics won despite making just 9 of 38 3-pointers and 10 of 21 foul shots and being held without a field goal for the final 5 minutes, 20 seconds of the game.

The most egregious turnover came late in the first quarter, when Serge Ibaka grabbed a rebound after a Tatum miss and passed to Pascal Siakam, who was standing out of bounds after his momentum had carried him there.

Jayson Tatum and Fred VanVleet offer each other respect at the end of a seven-game series in which four of the games were decided by five points or fewer.Michael Reaves/Getty

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