The Celtics kicked off their Western Conference swing in embarrassing fashion Monday night.
Boston suffered one of its worst losses of the season to date against Houston, a team that entered the sides’ contest with only 15 wins on the campaign. But despite how poorly the Celtics played against one of the NBA’s worst teams, they still had a chance to win it at the end.
The visiting C’s received a great opportunity to potentially go ahead when Jayson Tatum stole a Jalen Green loose dribble while the Rockets nursed a one-point lead with 21 seconds to play. Even though Tatum was drifting toward the sideline when he recovered the ball, he opted for a wild, long-distance, behind-the-back pass attempt instead of calling timeout. The reckless heave sailed way over Jaylen Brown’s head and Houston quickly regained possession.
It was just one of multiple questionable late-game decisions by the Celtics, who ultimately suffered a 111-109 loss at Toyota Center. After the game, Tatum owned up to his costly miscue.
“I should probably call a timeout,” Tatum told reporters, per MassLive. “But I guess they felt like I had possession and when I tried to save it, and obviously the shot-clock went away. Situations like that where if you don’t play the right way from the beginning that sometimes things like that come back to bite you.”
Tatum and the Celtics will try to get back in the win column Wednesday night when they visit the Minnesota Timberwolves.