The Celtics Pulled Off the NBA Upset of the Year

It was an incredible and unlikely finale for the visitors with Cleveland now leading the best-of-seven series 2-1 with Game Four in Quicken Loans Arena on Tuesday.

LeBron James put down one of his worst playoff performances in his whole career.

Bradley's shot at the buzzer of Game 3 touched every part of the rim before bouncing in, giving the Celtics an improbable 111-108 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was an intense moment made odd by the fact that a Cavs fan would heckle James for an off night when James is the one who delivered Cleveland a championship last June.

The fan was escorted away by security personnel, but minutes later James, nearly always totally cooperative with the media, got testy when asked about his second-half struggles.

"We have guys who have chips on their shoulders", Stevens said. He, like Irving, came up with a twisted ankle during the second half. Me personally, I didn't have it. The Cavs did not seem to be locked in.Actually, that's not what they say at all.Did you know NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was so anxious about the league's TV ratings that he rang up LeBron James and told him to take it easy on the Celtics? The only difference this time, is he missed most of the shots: 2 for 8 overall (25 percent) and 0 for 1 from beyond the three-point line.

Marcus Smart scored 27 points and was the leader of the team from Boston in this one, Avery Bradley had 20 and Al Horford 16. Another spark for the Celtics was Jonas Jerebko, who utilized his 12 minutes of action with 10 points, showing off his physicality and making 4-of-4 from the field, including two crucial three-pointers. He had six rebounds and six assists, but also committed six turnovers, including a costly miscue down the stretch when his pass was stolen by Jae Crowder. My teammates did a great job of keeping us in the game and building that lead. Boston lost their best player to an injury after they were already blown out twice at home.

"We know what we did wrong in game three. As soon as the ball went out his hands, you kind of knew that shot was going to go in because of how the game was just played throughout the second half".

When the two teams left Boston after Game 2, the Cavs had beaten the Celtics by 44 points for the most lopsided win in Eastern finals history.

Whatever scrap of hope the Celtics might have had for being able to resemble something competitive against the Cavaliers is probably gone: Isaiah Thomas is officially out for the remainder of the postseason.

So, they are going to need make key shots Thursday night, similar to what they did late in Game 3.

"I just think physically we weren't as physical as we needed to be defensively", Lue said. They came in and they played tough. The boards are helping the Cavs get fast break points. Johnson scored two points in nine minutes.

James, who is trying to win his seventh consecutive conference title, tried to find a silver lining on an otherwise forgettable night. "I feel like you have to have some type of adversity in order to be successful". What we got instead was one half of Cavaliers basketball as expected, followed by a second half of startling ambivalence and reaffirmation that, no matter the situation, LeBron needs to do LeBron things for the Cavs to be good, let alone great. "When you've got guys that are all on fire the way they are, the right basketball play is to find them. So we've got to be a lot better, for sure".

  • Julie Sanders