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This stat proves Pritchard has been among NBA’s most clutch players

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Payton Pritchard’s halfcourt shot to end the third quarter in Game 2 of the 2024 NBA Finals came as little surprise to those who have watched the Boston Celtics guard all season.

Pritchard has consistently provided a spark off the bench with clutch 3-pointers, including a handful of halfcourt buzzer-beaters. Sunday’s just happened to be on the biggest stage.



Once again Payton Pritchard comes up clutch to end a quarter. This time sinking the half-court three-pointer to beat the buzzer at the end of the third quarter of Game 2 of the NBA Finals vs. the Dallas Mavericks.

C’s head coach Joe Mazzulla raved about Pritchard’s shot after his team’s 105-98 win.

“I think the play of the game can’t go unnoticed — the humility of our team — is Payton’s shot at the end of the quarter,” Mazzulla said. “You see guys around the league pass up on that shot, or fake like they want to take it so that their numbers don’t get messed up — he takes pride in taking that, and that’s winning basketball.”

Pritchard has been among the NBA’s best at the end of quarters, and the numbers prove it. According to Celtics.com’s Taylor Snow, Pritchard and teammate Jayson Tatum are tied for the league lead with nine made 3s within the final four seconds of a quarter this season.

He would have had sole possession of the lead with 10, but one of his two halfcourt buzzer-beaters against the Washington Wizards on Feb. 9 was just a millisecond too late.



Understandably, Pritchard oozes confidence with the ball in his hands and the game clock winding down.

“Joe put me in with three seconds left, so I like those moments,” Pritchard told NBC Sports Boston’s Abby Chin after the Game 2 victory. “I live for them. So, I took full advantage.”

Pritchard’s halfcourt shot marked his only points in his 12 minutes of action on Sunday, but they were arguably the Celtics’ most important points of the game. Boston carried that momentum into the fourth quarter and finished off the Dallas Mavericks to take a 2-0 series lead.

The C’s will look to go up 3-0 in Dallas on Wednesday. No team has ever come back from being down three games in an NBA playoff series.

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