Keeping up with the 617: Top 5 Celtics Games of the 2019–20 season (so far)

Graphic by Aiden Menchaca / The Tufts Daily

Amid the suspension of NBA activities due to the COVID-19 outbreak, I thought it was best to revisit some of the best Celtics games so far this season.

Currently sitting at third place in the Eastern Conference with a playoff spot clinched, the Celtics have enjoyed a memorable season with Jayson Tatum on the edge of stardom and newcomer Kemba Walker providing a spark for the young Celtics squad. These five games were my favorite to watch, due to either high scoring or last-second victories. Let’s get into it.

  1. Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks (Nov. 1): 104–102 W

In the fifth game of the season, the 3–1 Celtics faced the woeful New York Knicks (1–4) at the TD Garden. However, much to everyone’s surprise, the Knicks kept the game close, and tied the game with four seconds left on a Marcus Morris 3-pointer. Then, Tatum hit a 21-foot jumper with one second left to secure the 104–102 victory.

  1. Boston Celtics vs. New Orleans Pelicans (Jan. 11): 140–105 W

Unfortunately, rookie phenom Zion Williamson did not play in this game. Nonetheless, Jayson Tatum dropped 41 points with a 72.7% field goal percentage. This was the start of a jaw-dropping run for the young star.

  1. Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers (Jan. 20): 139–107 W

The Lakers are arguably the best team in the NBA this season. Their superstar tandem of Anthony Davis and Lebron James has just been a wrecking ball for opposing defenses each game. In this game, however, Davis and James were held to only a combined 24 points by the Celtics’ defense. Additionally, each Celtics player had a positive +/- while handing the Lakers their ninth loss of the season

  1. Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Clippers (Nov. 20): 107–104 L

It seems weird to put a loss onto a top five games list. Yet this game provided the dramatics, with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George playing together for the first time this season. The Celtics led by seven with 2:21 left in the fourth quarter until the Clippers exploded for 10 unanswered points. Leave it to Tatum to hit a disgusting setback and tie the game at 97 to head into OT. However, a Kawhi Leonard block on a Kemba Walker 3-pointer as time expired in OT iced the game, giving the Celtics their third loss of the season. Nonetheless, this Wednesday night game seemed like a playoff atmosphere. It deserves this high ranking.

  1. Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Clippers (Feb. 13): 140–133 W

Once again, a Celtics/Clippers matchup did not disappoint. This game took two overtimes to complete and was a back-and-forth affair. Down by three with 46 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Marcus Morris hit a staggering three to tie the game at 114. Tatum missed a 3-point shot with no time remaining in OT. Then, Gordon Hayward led the charge in 2OT with seven points to give the Celtics the victory. Tatum ended with 39 points while scrappy Marcus Smart picked up an unusual 31 points. Additionally, the Celtics held Paul George to only four points and kept Kawhi Leonard somewhat in check. It was sweet revenge after the crushing loss at the Staples Center in November.