NBA: Celtics escape when last shot is too late

Celtics guard Jaylen Brown is congratulated after hitting a three-point basket to seal the win over the Denver Nuggets on Jan. 29.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

Jaylen Brown hit a go-ahead three-pointer with 34 seconds left and the struggling Boston Celtics edged the Nuggets 111-110 on Monday night in Denver.

The Nuggets had a chance to win but Torrey Craig’s lay-in of Will Barton’s long three-point attempt was too late.

Kyrie Irving scored 10 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter and finished 11 of 17 from the field to lead the Celtics to just their second win in seven games. Jayson Tatum added 20 points and Marcus Morris had 14 off the bench.

Boston blew a 20-point lead and trailed heading into the final period, then couldn’t hold on to a 108-102 advantage with 2:12 left. Jamal Murray scored twice in the final minute, first to the game at 108 with 43 seconds to go and then to cut the lead to one with 28 seconds left.

Irving missed his final shot with seven seconds left and Trey Lyles grabbed the rebound, but Barton, who made just one field goal in the fourth quarter, couldn’t connect from 34 feet and Craig, who was wide open under the basket, couldn’t beat the buzzer.


Barton finished with 19 points and Murray 14. Nikola Jokic, who had a double-double by the first minute of the second half, led the Nuggets with 24 points and 11 rebounds.

Mason Plumlee had 16 points and eight rebounds before he left with a leg injury in the fourth.

at Milwaukee 107, Philadelphia 85: Giannis Antetokounmpo had 31 points and 18 rebounds and the Bucks won their fourth straight win since firing coach Jason Kidd.

at Atlanta 99, Minnesota 96: Kent Bazemore scored 22 points, including a tiebreaking three, and the Hawks rallied from 11 down in the third quarter.

at Indiana 105, Charlotte 96: Victor Oladipo scored 25 points and the Pacers won for the fourth time in five games.

Miami 95, at Dallas 88: Hassan Whiteside had 25 points and 14 rebounds as the Heat completed a season sweep of the Mavericks.

at Memphis 120, Phoenix 109: Tyreke Evans scored 27 points and the Grizzlies sent the Suns to their fifth straight loss.