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RJ Barrett Hits Wild Game-Winning Buzzer-Beater in Knicks’ Comeback Win Over Celtics

The Knicks trailed the Celtics by 25 points with 3:53 to play in the first half of the game on Thursday at Madison Square Garden.

However, Boston—a team that has struggled to close games numerous times this year—added another dramatic ending to its season. Moments after Celtics forward Jayson Tatum converted a clutch 18-foot step back jumper to tie the game at 105 with 2.2 seconds to play, it was Barrett’s turn for a little late-game magic.

Barrett took the inbound pass, took a dribble to his right and launched a high-arching three-pointer off the glass to give the Knicks the 108–105 victory. Before hitting the game-winning shot, Barrett—who finished with 13 points and six assists—was 3-for-14 from the floor. 

Barrett became the first Knicks player to make a game-winning buzzer-beater at Madison Square Garden since David Lee did in December 2006. Each of the previous three Knicks’ game-winning buzzer-beaters were on the road.

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The Knicks (19-20) were 1-229 when trailing by 25 or more points in a game over the last 25 seasons. They came back from a 26-point deficit against the Bucks on March 14, 2004, according to ESPN Stats and Info

While Barrett hit the game-winning basket, it was the monster performance from Evan Fournier—who finished with 41 points off 15-for-25 shooting and 10-of-14 from beyond the arc—that allowed the Knicks to complete the furious comeback. 

In his 41-point performance, Fournier tied J.R. Smith’s Knicks record with 10 three pointers. He became the first Knicks player with three 30-point games against the Celtics in a single season since Patrick Ewing had three in the 1996-97 season.

Boston (18–21) joins the Pelicans as the only teams to lose four games in which they led by at least 15 points this season. The Celtics have lost six of their last seven games that went to clutch time (games within five points in the last five minutes of a game).

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