How Jayson Tatum, Celtics Reacted To Scott Foster’s Crew After Nets Sweep

The NBA's most controversial official was up to his usual tricks

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April 26, 2022

Scott Foster and his officiating crew accomplished what they set out to do Monday night during Game 4 between the Boston Celtics and Nets, but unfortunately for Brooklyn, the controversial referee wasn’t able to single-handedly help the hosts avoid elimination.

In what “NBA on TNT” analyst Charles Barkley referred to as the worst-officiated game he had ever seen, Foster’s crew created controversy time and time again. But no call was more notable than a very questionable offensive foul on Jayson Tatum with 2:49 left in a six-point game. It marked the sixth foul of the game on the Celtics superstar, not long after Tatum was called for his fifth foul on a charge with 8:17 left, thus resulting in Boston playing five of the final eight minutes without its leading scorer and standout defender on Nets superstar Kevin Durant.

Tatum, who finished with 29 points on 9-for-16 shooting from the field, was among the Celtics who reacted to Foster’s officiating after Boston advanced to the second round following a 116-112 victory.

“I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it at all,” Tatum said of his sixth foul, as seen on NBC Sports Boston’s postgame coverage. “But, you know, I think that’s what we built for that next-man-up mentality. Regardless of what’s going on, we just figure it out.”

Marcus Smart was left dumbfounded on that call, and at least one other.

“First off, I was just trying to figure out was an offensive foul. We felt like Jayson got pulled to the ground,” Smart said, as seen on NBC Sports Boston. “Then not only that, in the third quarter or the second, (Durant’s) rolling to the basket, I’m trying to recover, he runs back, plants his shoulder into me and then I get a defensive foul. So it was just kind of like, you know, we kind of didn’t know what was going on for that. But it happens. It’s part of the game.”

Jaylen Brown added of Tatum’s sixth foul: “Well, first, it was a bad call.”

All three players did speak to how Boston was able to recover with the game hanging in the balance at that point. Smart scored five points in those final minutes after Durant cut Boston’s advantage to 109-108 with 1:28 remaining.

“Guys came in last couple of minutes, made big plays down the stretch. Got stops when we needed it and finished out the game,” Tatum said. “I couldn’t have been happier for the way that they were playing out there those last four or five minutes.”

The Celtics now turn their attention to the second round where they will face either the Milwaukee Bucks or Chicago Bulls. Milwaukee leads Chicago 3-1 in the best-of-seven series with Game 5 set for Wednesday.

Thumbnail photo via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum
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