The Boston Celtics have struggled at times in close games. Friday night was not one of those times.
Trailing the Eastern Conference-leading Cleveland Cavaliers by two points on the road, the C’s pulled a win out of nowhere thanks to the heroics of shooting guard Avery Bradley.
With four seconds left on the clock and Boston down two, point guard Isaiah Thomas slipped a bounce pass to Bradley in the corner, who took a dribble to his left and calmly drilled the biggest shot of the Celtics’ season to date.
Bradley’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer, his fourth deep ball of the night, lifted the C’s to a thrilling 104-103 win.
“I didn’t think I had enough time,” Bradley told CSN New England’s Chris Mannix in a postgame interview aired on the network. “But Isaiah made a big play. He drove to the basket — he said he had two guys on him — he kicked it out and I knocked the shot down. Thank God.”
The guard’s heroics were set up by an impressive sequence from Boston, which trailed by five points with 18 seconds to go. Jae Crowder hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to two, and after Kyrie Irving made both of his free throws at the other end, J.R. Smith fouled Evan Turner on a made layup that brought the C’s back within two.
Turner missed the free throw, but Marcus Smart out-muscled 7-foot-1 center Timofey Mozgov and knocked the ball off LeBron James to give Boston the ball with a shot to tie or win.
Bradley did the rest, and the Celtics celebrated in style.
Thumbnail photo via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley (0) celebrates with guard Isaiah Thomas (4) after making a three-point shot to end the game and beat the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. The Celtics won 104-103.
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