Watch: Dynamic Celtics passing leads to Jayson Tatum halftime buzzer-beater


Derrick White and Jrue Holiday each made an extra pass, and Tatum wound up wide-open at the three-point line.

Jayson Tatum put the finishing touches on a dazzling and unselfish halftime buzzer beater play. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
  • Former Celtic Marcus Smart out 3-5 weeks with ankle injury, won’t face Boston on Sunday

  • Jaylen Brown, Kristaps Porzingis available for Celtics Friday night

After a slow start to Friday’s game in Toronto, the Celtics closed out the first half on a high note.

Not only did Boston turn a 6-point deficit after one quarter to a 16-point lead after two, but its final sequence of the half was a masterclass in unselfish basketball.

The play started with Jrue Holiday spinning into the lane and faking going up for a layup at the rim. He dished underneath to Derrick White, who jumped in the air and sold a layup attempt even harder. Their combination sent the Raptors crashing toward the paint to defend the last shot.

White spotted Jayson Tatum wide open beyond the arc, and there was just enough time on the game clock for White to feed Tatum for the buzzer-beater.

A lot has been made of Boston’s new star-studded lineup this season, and for good reason. The new-look Celtics are early favorites to win the Eastern Conference, and Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid even called them the best team in the NBA.

Friday’s buzzer-beater was a perfect example of what makes Boston so dangerous offensively this season. Three different Celtics threatened to score the final basket of the half, and that didn’t even include Jaylen Brown and Kristaps Porzingis, who have shown plenty of offensive firepower in their own right.

The 2023-24 Celtics team can hurt teams in different ways, and they put that on display for a highlight play to close the half.