Losses do not get much tougher to swallow than the one the Boston Celtics' suffered to the Toronto Raptors in Game 3.
When Kemba Walker found centre Daniel Theis on a beautiful pass to give the Celtics a two-point lead with under one second remaining, only one last chance separated Boston from a 3-0 lead, putting the Raptors on the brink of a sweep.
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Toronto lined up a sideline out-of-bounds play with 0.5 seconds remaining in the game and veteran leader Kyle Lowry delivered a perfect pass to a wide-open OG Anunoby who knocked down the big shot to bring the Raptors back into the series 2-1.
OG Anunoby wins Game 3 for the @Raptors with the #TissotBuzzerBeater! #WeTheNorth #NBAPlayoffs #ThisIsYourTime pic.twitter.com/3ubNiMR7Xc- NBA (@NBA) September 4, 2020
While it's hard to place the blame on any one person on a play like that, Celtics star forward Jaylen Brown felt most responsible being the closest defender to the player that hit the game-winning shot.
Whether or not the blame is rightfully placed, Brown shared his displeasure with himself in his post-game press conference.
"That was a f--ing disgrace," he told the media. "That was terrible. I take responsibility for that. We shouldn't have lost that game."
It's hard to argue with the 23-year-old wing, as Boston commanded the majority of the game before the Raptors came charging back midway through the third quarter. Even in a back-and-forth fourth quarter, surrendering a lead with under one second remaining takes nothing short of a miracle.
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"Just me being four years in, I've gotta be better," Brown continued. "It's a f--ing disgrace," he reiterated again in clear self-frustration.
"I guess it was a miscommunication. ... It was tough."
Did it have something to do with the Oklahoma City Thunder missing an opportunity with centre Steven Adams neglecting to roll toward the basket on a sideline out-of-bounds play to potentially win the game against the Houston Rockets in Game 7 the night before? We may never know.
But Brown had sagged toward the basket to give Theis backside help incase Lowry tried to throw a lob to big man Marc Gasol at the rim. With his attention focused toward the paint, Anunoby was able to slide behind him unseen and uncovered, and Lowry skipped the pass right on the money to set up his teammate to win the game.
"That was one that we definitely wish we could have back," Brown stated. "It's tough, but that's the playoffs. We've got to move on to Game 4."
Game 4 between the Celtics and Raptors is set for Saturday, Sept. 5 at 6:30 p.m. ET.
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