BOSTON (CBS) -- Marcus Smart is just dripping swag these days. Whether it's his special DPOY robe or his off-hand working some late game magic for the Boston Celtics, Smart's confidence is at an all-time high.
And that is saying something about a guy who never lacks in the confidence department.
Smart arrived to TD Garden for Wednesday night's Game 2 against the Nets sporting a fashionable robe celebrating his Defensive Player of the Year award. His defense was once again dominant against Brooklyn, as he bodied up against Kyrie Irving and was a large part in the Nets' offensive wizard shooting a woeful 4-for-13 from the field on Wednesday evening.
But it was his hand -- his left hand at that -- which delivered the final death blow to the Nets after Boston's furious second-half comeback. Smart was relatively quiet on the offensive end, hitting just three of his nine shots, but it was the last of those three makes that buried Brooklyn.
The Celtics were ahead by eight with just over a minute left in the contest, but considering the Nets possess an offense that has both Irving and Kevin Durant, such a lead is never safe. Smart ended any threat of a Brooklyn comeback with a filthy left-handed runner that banked in as the shot clock expired. The hoop put Boston on top 110-100 with 1:09 on the clock.
Smart, who had hurt his left mitt earlier in the game while diving for a ball, seemed just as shocked as anyone that his off-hand could put in such beautiful dagger. He held up the paw and gazed at it in amazement, welcoming others to join in. Jaylen Brown came over and both ogled the guard's hand as if it were Marsellus Wallace's briefcase.
That sweet touch by Smart was only one of Boston's finishing moves in their 121-114 victory, but it was that hoop that made everyone realize that the comeback win was about to become a reality.
So, what exactly did Brown see when he peered into Smart's hand?
"Man, I don't know," he giggled. "That was a play -- I taught Marcus everything he knows. I know he's Defensive Player of the Year, but a lot of that he learned from me.
"Marcus played great," Brown continued. "He does what Marcus does and made some big plays down the stretch and we pulled out another win."
Whatever was within Smart's off-hand on Wednesday night, it was just another reminder that even when Smart doesn't have it cooking offensively, he can still break out some late-game magic for a winning play. It usually comes on the defensive side, but the guard is capable of creating some offensive sorcery as well.
Hopefully whatever was within that palm on Wednesday night travels with the team to Brooklyn for Saturday night's Game 3.
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