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Hard foul on Celtics’ Jayson Tatum ‘looked shady,’ former NBA player says

The Boston Celtics beat the Miami Heat handily 114-94 in Game 1 of their opening-round playoff series, but controversy ensued toward the end of the game.

Celtics star Jayson Tatum was going up for a rebound when Caleb Martin rushed into the paint and threw a hard block. Tatum fell hard to the ground. Martin exchanged words with Jaylen Brown as Tatum walked away from the commotion. There were 59.4 seconds left in the game at that moment.

Former Celtics player Brian Scalabrine, who is currently an analyst for NBC Sports Boston, suggested there was a nefarious reason behind Martin flying into the paint.

“The only thing I would say about this, I’m not trying to start nothing here, but I’m just … (Heat coach) Erik Spoelstra called a timeout with 1:30 down by 16 (points), 30 seconds later that play happens,” Scalabrine said. “Why is he calling a timeout at 1:30 down 16? Why is that play happening 30 seconds later? I don’t know man, that looked shady to me.”


Scalabrine then suggested Spoelstra had ordered a “Code Red,” in reference to the film “A Few Good Men.”

Jayson Tatum handles the ball

“I’m just saying, like, what that play right there? I didn’t like that. … That, to me, is a dirty play.”

Tatum notched his first career postseason triple-double with 23 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Derrick White had 20 points and four assists.

“It’s a physical game playing against a physical team. S—‘s going to happen,” Tatum said of the Martin play. “It’s probably not the last time I’m going to get hit like that, or fouled in this series. I wasn’t hurt to get hit like that. Just get up. … Just go down there and knock the free throws down.”

Jayson Tatum drives on Nikola Jovic

Game 2 is set for Tuesday night in Boston.

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