Marcus Smart masterfully avoided a cancer patient while diving for a loose ball

"The last thing I wanted to do was hit him."

Marcus Smart looks on during the second half of Friday's game against the Atlanta Hawks.
Marcus Smart looks on during the second half of Friday's game against the Atlanta Hawks. –Mary Schwalm/AP Photo

Marcus Smart made a patented Marcus Smart hustle play in the final seconds of the Celtics’ 112-107 victory over the Atlanta Hawks Friday night at TD Garden.

With the Celtics leading 110-107 with 18 seconds left, Smart chased after a loose ball bouncing toward the out of bounds line near the Hawks bench. His momentum took him airborne over a “Biofreeze” sign and into the second row of seats.

Luckily, Smart narrowly avoided a collision with a pediatric cancer patient as he tried to save the ball. Here’s the full play:

Smart said he saw the young boy as he went for the ball, so he turned awkwardly to avoid him.

Advertisement

“I was trying to avoid the kid,” Smart said. “He was a cancer patient and looks like he just had surgery on his head. So the last thing I wanted to do was hit him. So that’s kind of why I turned awkwardly.”

Smart and the nearby fans were OK, but here’s a closer look from MassLive Celtics writer John Karalis that shows how close Smart was to colliding with two boys. It appears Smart shifted his body at the last moment and went between the two of them.

After the game, Smart gave his jersey and arm band to the fan.

In his first game back in the lineup following a two-game absence, Smart recorded nine points, six assists, and five rebounds as the Celtics won their sixth-straight game.