A bevy of stars left stunned by Celtic up­ris­ing

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - MICHAEL BEAVEN CLEVE­LAND — Akron Bea­con Jour­nal

Foot­ball stars and Hol­ly­wood stars came to Cleve­land on Sun­day night to watch the Cava­liers and Bos­ton Celtics.

So did Na­tional Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion Hall of Famers Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley and Reg­gie Miller.

What they saw was a stun­ning 111-108 come-from-be­hind vic­tory for the Celtics when Avery Bradley made a three-pointer with 0.1 sec­onds to go in the fourth quar­ter in Game 3 of the East­ern Con­fer­ence Fi­nals.

With so lit­tle time left, the Cavs were un­able to do any­thing and fol­lowed up 44-point road win in Game 2 with a home loss af­ter hold­ing a 21-point lead in the third quar­ter on Sun­day.

The Celtics trav­elled to Cleve­land without their star, Isa­iah Thomas, who has been ruled out for the re­main­der of the play­offs with a hip in­jury, but fought back to win.

Mar­cus Smart led the Celtics with 27 points and seven as­sists, and Bradley chipped in 20 points and four as­sists be­fore a sell­out crowd of 20,562 that in­cluded Browns rook­ies Myles Gar­rett, Jabrill Pep­pers and David Njoku and vet­er­ans Joe Haden and Corey Cole­man.

Co­me­di­ans Amy Schumer and Dave Chap­pelle were also in at­ten­dance as the de­fend­ing NBA cham­pion Cavs lost fol­low­ing 117104 and 130-86 vic­to­ries in Bos­ton.

Game 4 of the best-of-seven se­ries is Tues­day night in Cleve­land.

Kyrie Irv­ing paced the Cavs with 29 points and seven as­sists and Kevin Love to­talled 28 points and 10 re­bounds.

Tris­tan Thompson con­trib­uted 18 points and 13 re­bounds, J.R. Smith had 13 points and eight re­bounds and LeBron James fin­ished with 11 points, six re­bounds and six as­sists.

James en­tered Sun­day with at least 30 points in a ca­reer-high eight con­sec­u­tive play­off games, but was quiet most of the evening, in­clud­ing just three points, one re­bound and one as­sist in the sec­ond half.

The Celtics fin­ished with six play­ers in dou­ble fig­ures — Smart, Bradley, Al Hor­ford (16 points), Kelly Olynyk (15 points), Jae Crow­der (14 points) and Jonas Jere­bko (10 points).

The loss dropped the Cavs to 10-1 this post-sea­son, and also snapped a 13-game play­off win­ning streak. The Cavs and Los An­ge­les Lak­ers (1988 and ’89) share the NBA record for most post-sea­son wins in a row. The Cavs’ streak dates back to Game 5 of the 2016 NBA fi­nals against the Golden State War­riors.

The Cava­liers jumped out to a 14-7 lead with 7:23 to go in the first quar­ter with two three-point­ers by Love, one each from Smith and Irv­ing and a Thompson dunk. Smart ended the 11-2 Cavs run with a three-pointer, but the lead reached 22-10 at 5:14 af­ter Love swished two more treys and James nailed a jumper.

Irv­ing and Love both made a three-pointer with less than two min­utes to go in the first quar­ter and Cavs led 35-24 head­ing into the sec­ond quar­ter.

The Cavs made nine of 13 shots from long range in the first quar­ter and then cooled down a bit in the sec­ond quar­ter as the Celtics cut their deficit to 44-36 and 47-38 with Bradley and Crow­der lead­ing the charge.

Love got hot again from deep and made a cou­ple more three­p­oint­ers to lead the Cavs into half­time ahead 66-50. Love made seven of 10 treys in the first half and led all scor­ers with 22 points at the break.

The third quar­ter lacked of­fen­sive fire­power ini­tially as each team strug­gled to score. The Celtics then caught fire and trimmed a 77-56 deficit to 87-82 deficit head­ing into the fourth quar­ter. Smart, Olynyk, Jere­bko and Hor­ford com­bined to score 26 points.

The Celtics kept charg­ing in the fourth quar­ter and a Jere­bko 3pointer cut the Cavs’ lead to 87-85 with 11:41 to go. Thompson made four free throws to push the Cavs’ lead to 91-85 lead but the Celtics kept bat­tling back.

The Celtics got key bas­kets from Bradley, Smart, Olynyk, Hor­ford and Jere­bko in the clos­ing mo­ments. Smart’s three-point shoot­ing was ef­fec­tive dur­ing the en­tire sec­ond half.

JAMIE SABAU, GETTY IMAGES

Al Hor­ford cel­e­brates with Jonas Jere­bko of the Bos­ton Celtics late in their 111 -108 vic­tory over the Cleve­land Cava­liers on Sun­day.

JAMIE SABAU, GETTY IMAGES

Co­me­di­ans Amy Schumer and Dave Chap­pelle at­tend Sun­day’s NBA East­ern Con­fer­ence fi­nal game in Cleve­land.

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