Ryan’s Game-Winner Caps Off Bizarre Finish vs. Bucks

Matt Ryan’s miraculous game-winning heave capped off a bizarre finish to Monday’s matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks, earning the Boston Celtics their first win of the 2022 Summer League in Las Vegas.

With his team down 109-108, Ryan dribbled three quarters of the way up the court before throwing up one-handed, off-balance bank shot, which found its way through the net with 0.5 seconds remaining.

Adding to the craziness was the fact that Ryan injured his left ankle on the landing, which prevented him from celebrating as he laid writhing on the court in pain. Ryan was eventually able to limp off to Boston’s bench before his teammates closed out the final possession for a 111-109 win.

That was just one of many wild moments in the closing minutes of a back-and-forth matchup that included 20 lead changes from start to finish.

Just seconds before Ryan’s prayer was answered, an even stranger event occurred. The C’s were trailing 107-105 when JD Davison was fouled and sent to the free-throw line with a chance to tie the game. The second-round pick missed his first attempt and made the second, and Milwaukee called a timeout to draw up its closing play.

However, during the timeout, Boston’s coaching staff brought to the attention of the referees that there had been a scoring error on a previous play and that they should have had 108 on the board instead of 106. The officials conducted a lengthy review and, sure enough, there had been a mistake, and so they added two more points to the Celtics’ total. Just like that, Boston was suddenly up by one instead of down by one.

The Bucks wound up gaining the lead back five seconds later when Lindell Wigginton was fouled and sunk a pair of clutch free throws, only to watch Ryan take the win right out of their hands on the ensuing possession.

Ryan’s heroic shot was just a sample of a stellar, 14-point fourth-quarter effort. He finished with a team-high 23 points while knocking down 6-of-11 from 3-point range.

The Celtics were on fire from deep where they canned 19-of-46 as a team, which included a 4-of-8 effort from Brodric Thomas and a 3-of-7 clip from Sam Hauser.

Boston had six players score in double figures led by Ryan’s 23. Mfiondu Kabengele logged a 15-point, 11-rebound double-double, Thomas chipped in with 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and two blocks, Juhann Begarin recorded 13 points, six rebounds, and three steals, Sam Hauser added a dozen points in the scoring column, and Justin Jackson contributed with 10 points.

Begarin stood out as a highlight machine down the stretch, as he delivered driving dunks on two straight possessions, including an arena-rocking poster dunk which would have been the play of the night had it not been for Ryan’s game-winner.

The Summer C’s won’t have long to celebrate as they’ll return to action at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday night against the Golden State Warriors.

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