Fact of the Day: Leprachaun’s do travel beyond the parquet floors of Boston Garden.
Marcus Smart: 27 PTS, 5 REB & 7 AST. pic.twitter.com/LUEc01pXhn
— NBA (@NBA) May 22, 2017
Only one tenth of a second separated Avery Bradley’s break taking shot from the final buzzer, but it still had all of the qualities of an epic game winning dagger.
However, to encapsulate Boston’s 111-108 win over the Cavaliers in just one shot, no matter how invigorating it may have been, would be a complete disservice to the battle they waged for 47.9 minutes. Pitting the Celtics’ overwhelming sense of desperation against the Cavaliers supreme confidence. Like in all great David and Goliath tales, David stood victorious.
What’s more impressive is that all of this came from a team crushed under the weight of two blowout losses in Game’s No. 1 and 2, followed by the loss of their leader Isaiah Thomas. Still, coach Brad Steven’s unit stressed the importance of singles, not homeruns, if they had any hope of besting the defending champions. Doing just that, chipping away at the Cavaliers’ defense and matching their attack with exceptional switches on the defensive end.
Marcus Smart led the way with 27 points, somehow hitting 70% from beyond the three point line.
Jonas Jerebko was Game No. 3’s unlikely hero, serving as the Celtics’ rallying point by virtue of his intensity and competitive fervor, jawing back and forth with the Cavaliers throughout the second half.
It was the Celtics aforementioned defensive rotation that ultimately propelled them to victory, stretching the floor further apart than the Cavaliers could handle, and matching all of their ball rotations with immediate switches.
In the end, LeBron James’ impressive streak of scoring 30 points or more came to a screeching halt, only managing to score 11 points on 30.8% shooting from the field, and going 0-4 from beyond the arch.
Boston’s triumphant comeback brought more than just their first check in the win column. It means they’ve at least guaranteed themselves one more showdown in Boston, and potentially granted them a blueprint to beating the Cavaliers going forward.
But for now, you can bet the Celtics are celebrating and deservingly so because even against the King, in his land, miracles do happen.