Published: Wed, May 24, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Bradley's game-winning three pointer on the buzzer completes Boston's stunning comeback

Bradley's game-winning three pointer on the buzzer completes Boston's stunning comeback

Celtic pride is very real.

Bradley's shot from the left wing - off a play designed by coach Brad Stevens - bounced on the rim four times before going down.

Trailing by 21 in the third quarter, Boston cut the deficit to five by the end of the quarter, tied the score on Marcus Smart's three-pointer with 5:48 left in the fourth quarter and took the lead on Kelly Olynyk's short one-handed jumper in the paint with 4:22 remaining.

But the greatest player in the world is allowed a stinker every couple of years, and boy did he have one Sunday in Boston's shocking 111-108 victory at Cleveland in the Eastern Conference finals - just when all the eulogies were being written for the Celtics.

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My guess is that Marcus Smart won't make seven threes again.

The defending National Basketball Association champions, who shot 71 percent in the second half, opened a 3-1 lead in the series and 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. We wish he could be here but we understand. We didn't keep the pressure on them the way we've been accustomed to.

With Cleveland in jeopardy of dropping its second game in a row after James followed an 11-point Game 3 by picking up four first-half fouls, Irving put on a breathtaking one-man show in the third quarter.

After the game, James suggested that the loss could be a good thing for the Cavs because, "I feel some adversity is all part of the postseason".

Prior to Game 3, LeBron had scored 30 points or more in nine straight playoff games this postseason, tying a mark set by the one and only Michael Jordan. You let a team like that grab momentum you nearly knew a shot like that was going in I'm kind of glad it happened the way it did. The beat goes on at the Q as the Celtics controlled the first half and lead the Wine and Gold, 57-47.

If the previous, embarrassing contests between these two teams (both remarkably easy Cavaliers wins, 117-104 and 130-86) account for anything, your Boston Celtics pulled off a sports miracle on Sunday night.

Welcome back to "3 Shots" as we take a look at the three biggest observations from the first half of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

"No blame. We're all to blame", Lue said.

Following a timeout, the Celtics perfectly executed a play drawn up by Stevens and worked the ball to Bradley, who found himself open and then calmly knocked down a shot that goes straight into Celtics lore.

On Monday, J.R. Smith told reporters James needs to "play like he's been playing". The 2015 champions face San Antonio Spurs in Game 4 of the Western Finals on Monday night, where they now lead 3-0.

With Thomas back home, the Celtics could be forgiven for feeling down after Thomas, their inspirational leader was shut down with a hip injury he first sustained in March.

"We decided were going to go out and play hard, swinging".

"We were playing way better".

They earned their way back into the series.

"It felt good. It felt good to see him smile".

"I had a tough game, period". Stevens also said the Cavs' 130-86 win in Game 2 - the largest margin of victory ever in an Eastern finals game - "may have been the best game I've ever seen a team play against us, at least in my time in the National Basketball Association.". Does that mean college too?

Bradley said Thomas wasn't in Cleveland but they were keeping in touch.

That was what we needed. Cavs coach Tryonn Lue didn't even call a timeout. “They did everything together, dinners and everything.”. Cleveland does not lead the 2-0 anymore. Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, the No. 1 overall pick in the National Football League draft, and fellow rookie Jabrill Peppers took a few shots on the floor before the teams came out for warmups.

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