Last Night the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers squared off for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals in Cleveland. After winning both Games 1 and 2 in dominant fashion, 44-point win in Game 2, many Cleveland fans were already moving on from the Celtics and looking towards the NBA Finals.
LeBron James put on amazing performances in the first two games of this series, and without the Isaiah Thomas for the reminder of the playoffs the Celtics looked in trouble going into Game 3. Already down two games in the series the Celtics many fans had lost hope and already counted their team out. However, the Celtics had other plans. The C’s came out and played a more physical brand of basketball starting Marcus Smart in the absence of Isaiah Thomas.
At the half the Cavaliers led by 16 points and it looked like it was going to be more of the same in the second half. But the Celtics came out strong in the 3rd quarter, outscoring the Cavaliers by 11 points and closing the gap to 5 points going into the 4th quarter. Marcus Smart continued to have the hot hand in the 4th keeping the Celtics close. Smart finished the game with 27 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds.
With about 4 minutes left in the game the Celtics finally closed the gap and took the lead 99-98. Nobody in Cleveland was expecting the Celtics to come back down 21 points to now leading the game. The clock continued to tick and with 30 seconds left on the clock Jonas Jerebko made a jump shot to take the lead 108-106. All the Celtics needed was one stop and that would have secured the game. However, Kyrie Irving wasn’t going to go down that easy. With 10 seconds left Irving drove the basket and converted on an acrobatic finish, tying the game 108-108. With only 10 seconds left the Celtics were playing for the last shot and hopefully not going to overtime. The inbound pass went to Marcus Smart who was covered by LeBron James. As the clock ticked, Smart took a few dribbles and then passed it to a wide open Avery Bradley coming off a screen at the 3-point line. Bradley caught the ball and took the shot. The ball hit off the rim and got the lucky bounce and dropped win.
The Celtics stole Game 3 111-108. There is life in this team yet and if they can steal Game 4 on the road I think we might just have a series. We will see you on Tuesday in Cleveland for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. To me this is a must win, if the Celtics go down 3-1 they will have no chance. But if they can even up the series 2-2 then I believe anything can happen.