The Boston Celtics entered Tuesday night’s game against the Toronto Raptors needing a victory to clinch a playoff spot in the crowded bottom of the Eastern Conference.
With 10 seconds left in the tied game, Celtics forward Evan Turner had his shot blocked out of bounds, leaving 3.1 seconds remaining.
The Celtics inbounded it from the baseline and found forward Jae Crowder, who launched a fade-away, contested jumper from the corner that was nothing but net:
The Raptors defended it extremely well, but Crowder still managed to hit it:
There were 0.8 seconds left on the clock, but the Raptors didn’t even get off a shot.
Crowder’s shot clinched a playoff berth for the Celtics, who were largely predicted to be a lottery team before the season began. Since the All-Star break, the team has gone 19-11.
The Celtics are now locked into the seventh seed because they beat the eighth-place Indiana Pacers during the season series, meaning they own the tiebreaker. The Brooklyn Nets, who are in ninth place but still have a shot to make the playoffs in their final game Wednesday night, cannot catch the Celtics’ record.
The Celtics play the Milwaukee Bucks tonight in what is essentially a meaningless game as both teams are locked into the sixth and seventh seeds, respectively.
Boston can now rest up and prepare for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round, thanks to Crowder.
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