BOSTON (CBS) — It certainly seemed like Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, who was essentially standing on the court, caused Celtics forward Jayson Tatum to make a costly turnover at the end of regulation in Game 6. Tatum wouldn’t blame Nurse after the game, but one of his teammates had no problem calling out the NBA’s Coach of the Year.
The play came in the final minute of regulation of Wednesday night’s double overtime thriller. With the score knotted at 98-98, Tatum drove to the basket and kicked the ball to Daniel Theis in the corner.
The only issue was he didn’t throw it to Theis, but to Nurse, who was standing in the corner of the court with one foot on the line. Nurse jumped out of the way of Tatum’s pass, and the Raptors took over. A lot happened after that play, but Toronto went on to win in double overtime, forcing a deciding Game 7 on Friday night.
Interesting move here from Nick Nurse: pic.twitter.com/F0b3heqvKw
— Chris Grenham (@chrisgrenham) September 10, 2020
Tatum took all the blame for the turnover after the game.
“That was my fault. Can’t blame Nick Nurse. He’s not playing,” said Tatum, who finished the game with 29 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists.
His teammate, Jaylen Brown, was not as forgiving.
“I think it’s a lot of emotions. It’s very intense and things like that, and sometimes things seem to go overboard at times. Let’s keep it in check. Let’s keep it respectable. And let’s keep playing basketball. Grown men should be able to control themselves, especially the coaching staff,” said Brown, who had 31 points and 16 rebounds in Game 6.
Hitting Theis in the corner wouldn’t have guaranteed a bucket for the Celtics, especially with the shot clock winding down, but it was an opportunity to close out the Raptors. Boston squandered several such opportunities on Wednesday night, as they let a four-point lead slip away in overtime.
Now they have a win-or-go-home Game 7 on Friday against the defending champs. Brown said the atmosphere inside the Boston locker room following that heartbreaking Game 6 loss was still positive, and they’re confident they can get the job done.
“Come out and be the best version of ourselves and everything will take care of itself,” said Brown.
Wednesday night’s officials didn’t seem to mind Nurse’s move, but don’t be surprised if the Raptors coach gets hit with a fine at some point in the near future.