Thursday, 09 July, 2020

Gritty Celtics stun Cavaliers to reduce series deficit

Gritty Celtics stun Cavaliers to reduce series deficit Gritty Celtics stun Cavaliers to reduce series deficit
Vera Richards | 25 May, 2017, 07:59

Avery Bradley's 3-pointer danced on the rim and dropped with less than a second left and Boston, blown out in the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals and playing without star Isaiah Thomas, stunned the Cleveland Cavaliers 111-108 on Monday in Game 3 to end the champions' 13-game postseason winning streak.

It was the result of a clever play Celtics coach Brad Stevens designed, one of three perfectly executed plays in the final two minutes that the Celtics ran out of timeouts. Next, some guy named Jonas Jerebko, who spends enough time on the bench to practice shots from there, got on the floor and went a ideal 4-for-4. Without Ewing, the team performed remarkably superior, this was also a trend in the regular season for the team, where without his dominance, they somehow were able to maintain a better record. He's averaging just 2.7 points and 2.1 rebounds per game in the postseason during his second year with the Celtics. "It wasn't worth four". It was worth one. James tried to make it seem as though Roda is out to get him.

The defending National Basketball Association champions, who shot 71 percent in the second half to open a 3-1 lead in the series, can wrap up their third straight conference title and a "three-match" against the Warriors with a win in Game 5 on Thursday night in Boston.

"It's big. It's big".

"It was a lot of fourth-quarter turnovers that gave them life", Lue said.

Sure, he gets a bit of a friendly bounce, but a game-winner is a game-winner. The Cavs aren't going to let Smart - who got red-hot in the second half - beat them.

LeBron James was oddly nonchalant after one of the worst playoff games of his career.

But even he acknowledged Sunday's Game 3 win was ... different. Horford finished with 16 points on 7-of-18 shooting with six assists.

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Smart's 3-point shooting was effective during the entire second half. Jerebko was plus-22 in plus/minus over 12:32.

"Yeah, I thought he flopped". "And it shows what we've been talking about all year, a resilient group that has a lot of fight in them".

He's a passionate player, but seldom is it on display in as outwardly a fashion as it was following their Game 3 victory. Bradley admitted Friday's lopsided loss left a sour taste in his mouth.

"Wide-open look", Bradley said. My teammates did a great job of keeping us in the game, building that lead.

Let's break down how it happened.

Security ushered the fan away from James, who then went to the podium and was blunt in assessing a very uncharacteristic game for the NBA's best all-around player.

Forget about Kawhi Leonard's injury that robbed the Spurs of any chance of a competitive series against the Warriors and imagine a scenario where the final four teams played against each other with a round robin followed by the top-seeded team playing the bottom team in a best-of-seven format, and the second- and third-best teams facing off.

"Heart! Heart! This team got heart!" he yelled. Regardless of how the formats are changed, we're always going to have an unequal distribution of talent across the board in the playoffs, and whether it's the early rounds, the conference finals or the Finals, there's bound to be some competitive imbalance. This is a potpourri of playoff ideas, and that we are digging this far for ideas illustrates just how dominant these two teams have been in the playoffs.

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