Bradley hits last-second shot, Celtics stun Cavs 111-108. CLEVELAND — Leprechauns are imaginary. Celtic pride is very real.
Avery Bradley’s 3-pointer danced on the rim and dropped with less than a second left and Boston, blown out in the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals and playing without star Isaiah Thomas, stunned the Cleveland Cavaliers 111-108 on Sunday night in Game 3 to end the champions’ 13-game postseason winning streak.
Bradley’s shot from the left wing — off a play designed by coach Brad Stevens — bounced on the rim four times before going down. It capped a furious, focused comeback by the Celtics, who trailed by 21 in the third quarter before rallying to tighten up a series that appeared to be over.
Smart, who started in place of Thomas, made seven 3-pointers and scored 27 points, and Bradley had 20 for the Celtics, who were given little chance after losing by 44 in Game 2 and then losing Thomas for the rest of the postseason because of a hip injury.
“Everybody had to step up their game tonight especially with one of our brothers down,” Smart said. “Our love and support goes out to Isaiah. We wish he could be here but we understand. We just kept fighting. Everybody did their part.”
Kyrie Irving scored 29 points, and Kevin Love had 28 for Cleveland. The Cavaliers dropped to 10-1 in the postseason with their first loss since Game 4 of last year’s Finals.
Celtics: Stevens said Thomas will visit hip specialists over the next few days and may need surgery. … Stevens didn’t review much of the Game 2 tape, but there’s a mental image in his head of the Cavs making tough shot after tough shot. “As good as they are and they are tremendous, that might have been the best game I’ve ever seen a team play against us,” he said. Does that mean college too? “Yeah, I think they would have beaten all those teams, too,” he said, drawing laughter.
Cavaliers: James needs 62 points to pass Michael Jordan as the top scorer in postseason history. … Cavs coach Tyronn Lue was an assistant in Boston and said his team reminds him of those Celtics teams with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo. “That was a tight group,” he said. “They did everything together, dinners and everything.” … Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft, and fellow rookie Jabrill Peppers took a few shots on the floor before the teams came out for warmups.