Celtics Comeback To Win On Bradley’s Game Winning Three


Without Isaiah Thomas, the good money said the Celtics had slim to no chance at winning Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals in Cleveland on Sunday – but not the Smart money.

With .1 second left in the 4th quarter, Avery Bradley knocked down a three-pointer that took the air out of the Quicken Loans Arena as the Celtics took a 111-108 lead. Fittingly enough, the shot came off an assist from Marcus Smart, who played a huge role in the upset victory.

Smart had 27 points to go with seven assists, five rebounds, and two steals in the comeback victory – he even hit seven threes Sunday night. Smart’s backcourt mate Bradley also chipped in 20 in Game 3.

LeBron and company lost their first game of the 2017 postseason after 10 straight to start the playoffs (only Golden State this year has won more to start a postseason). LeBron also failed to reach 30 points for the first time in eight games, finishing the night with 11 points, six rebounds, six assists, and six turnovers.

“I didn’t have it tonight,” LeBron said to reporters after the loss on his performance in Game 3. He praised his teammates for their play despite the loss before adding, “We have to play a lot better in Game 4.” He also blamed the loss on momentum.

The Cavs led by as much as 21 in the 3rd quarter before the Celtics went on a 29-12 run during a span from the 3rd to the 4th. Coach Brad Stevens drew up three big plays late in the 4th that all resulted in baskets, including Bradley’s game-winner.

“We’re able to believe in whatever Brad [Stevens] draws up.” Avery Bradley said during his postgame interview, praising his head coach.

Boston had six players in double figures, including 16 and six assists from Al Horford. Kelly Olynyk also added 15 off the bench in 23 minutes.

Although they won, the loss of Thomas for the rest of the postseason is clearly present in the Celtics’ players’ minds.

Smart called the loss of IT as “devastating” during his postgame interview, going on to add, “We feel like we lost a brother.”

Kyrie Irving played well despite Smart’s defensive tenacity being added to the starting lineup, scoring 29 points and dishing out seven assists. Kevin Love came up big with 28 points and 10 rebounds, also draining seven threes for the Cavs.

Heading to Game 4, the Cavs are still in the driver’s seat. The Celtics don’t feel as if they’re down for the count despite being down 2-1 in the series.

“We gotta be the hardest playing team,” Smart said after the game, talking about what it will take for Boston to beat Cleveland.

They were certainly the hardest playing team Sunday night.

Game 4 is Tuesday at 8:30 pm.

About Brandon Wentz

Mayor of the borough of Mt. Carbon, Pennsylvania. Disappointed fan of the Phoenix Suns. Humble narcissist. Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/thebighonch

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