The Celtics were clearly on their last legs coming off one of their worst losses in franchise history when they lost to the Cavaliers by 44 at TD Garden Friday Night. To make matters worse, the green lost their all star point guard and 2nd team all NBA player Isaiah Thomas to a hip injury for the rest of the postseason. Almost the entire sports world, including Celtics fans thought Boston would come back with some fight in games 3 and 4, but not with nearly enough to make it a series or let alone with a game. Everybody was prepared for another 4-0 sweep for the Cavs and a matchup between them and the Warriors both at 12-0.
The Celtics had a different plan. Although losing by 16 at the half and 21 at a point in the 3rd quarter, they found themselves playing their best basketball of the series. The Celtics cut it to 4 by the end of the 3rd behind stellar play from many different guys, but most prominently Marcus Smart, who was filling in for Isaiah Thomas. The Celtics went back and forth with Cleveland in the final quarter, with Avery Bradley hitting the game winning 3 with just .1 seconds remaining to clinch the win for the C’s. Smart finished with 27, Bradley with 20, and 3 other Celtics also finished with at least 14 points in a total team effort win.
The question is, was that the only game the Celtics will win in this series? Marcus Smart played the game of his life along with Bradley, Horford, Crowder, Jerebko, Brown and Olynyk all contributing down the stretch as well. The Celtics had their best team effort of the playoffs tonight, and it is unlikely this type of play will continue on all cylinders to give the Celtics a chance in the series. At the very least, the Celtics pushed the series out to 5 and showed the rest of the league that they will not roll over under any circumstances. Good for the Celtics not giving up.
They will try to somehow even things up at 2-2 in the series in Game 4 on Tuesday Night in Cleveland at 8:30 P.M.