‘I kind of rushed it’: Jayson Tatum explains what happened on the final shot of Celtics loss to Nuggets


“I should have took some more time, but you can’t go back so it’s something that I can learn from.”

Jayson Tatum. Barry Chin/Globe Staff

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The fadeaway jumper that Jayson Tatum launched on the final possession of the game Friday night missed the rim entirely.

The shot would have tied the game if it had gone in, but it bounced off the bottom of the backboard and into the paint where Jamal Murray was waiting to scoop it up.

Time ran out, and the Celtics’ 20-game home win streak was snapped. Denver prevailed 102-100 at TD Garden.

“Yeah, I thought I kind of rushed it,” Tatum said of the miss. “That’s on me. In the back of my mind, I wasn’t sure if they were going to foul. They had a foul to give. But, you know, I had more time than I gave myself. I should have took some more time, but you can’t go back so it’s something that I can learn from.”

Tatum took the last two shots of the game for Boston and missed them both. He had an opportunity to give Boston the lead on the previous possession. The Celtics were trailing by one with 26 seconds left when Aaron Gordon missed a corner three.

Tatum grabbed the rebound and raced up the floor. He dribbled past Denver’s Nikola Jokic and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, but bobbled the ball as Murray contested his layup attempt.

The ball took an awkward bounce off the glass before rolling off the front of the rim. Gordon grabbed the rebound and drew a foul. He made one of his two free throws. The make was the final point of the night.

“In those situations, you always want to be aggressive,” Tatum said. “And then let your instincts take over and try to make the right play. But, I missed a couple of bunnies at the end. I’ve got to do better and just really finish those.”

Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said he trusts Tatum to come through in those situations.

“Your best player has the ball and the opportunity, and whether it was on two or three guys, he got a layup,” Mazzulla said. “He just missed it. The balance is, you trust your best player to make a play and he just didn’t make it.”

Denver, which won the NBA Finals last year, has won three of its last four games and is currently third in the Western Conference standings.

Losing to the defending champs may sting, but it doesn’t seem like Tatum is too worried about it.

“We play a lot of games. You never should get too excited,” Tatum said. “We don’t lose a lot, so when we do lose it feels worse than it is. But, it’s still just one game. We played a really good team today. [expletive] happens. Just get ready for the next one.”