The Boston Celtics were going off of back-to-back losses to the Cleveland Cavaliers. They had lost both games at home, including a 44 point embarrassment that was the worst loss ever by a number 1 seed. The day after they got the news that their star player, Isaiah Thomas, would be out for the rest of the playoffs with a hip injury. Now, they had to go on the road as 16.5 point underdogs against a seemingly dominant Cavaliers team that had won 13 playoff games in a row.

This game looked like another crushing Cavs victory

Despite LeBron James only having 8 points in the first half, the Cleveland Cavaliers were on cruise control against the Boston Celtics.

Kevin Love was on fire, going 7-10 from three-point land to finish the half with 22 points. Kyrie Irving also pitched in 17 points to give the Cavaliers a 66-50 halftime lead. Cleveland shot 14-22 from three in the first half and looked like they were on their way to an easy game three victory at home. At the 6:38 mark in the third quarter the Cavaliers had a 21 point lead, being up 77-58. In Lebron James's playoff career, his teams were 49-0 when having at least a 20-point lead.

The Celtics comeback

Down by 21 points it seemed that once again the Boston Celtics would get blown out by the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Celtics had been 0-6 in playoff games all-time without their leading scorer and Al Horford was 0-14 against Lebron's teams in the playoffs.

Somehow, by the end of the game the Celtics won 111-108 on a Avery Bradley three-pointer with 0.1 seconds left. Based on the point spread, this was the largest playoff upset in the last 20 seasons and the largest upset in the NBA this year. This was all despite the Cavaliers being 28-36 from the free throw line, while the Celtics were only 9-12.

The key factors

In the second half, the Cleveland Cavaliers hot shooting finally ended. Kevin Love only had 5 points in the second half and did not make a single three-pointer. LeBron James only had 3 points in the second half on 1-9 shooting, including being a disastrous 0-4 with 0 points and 2 turnovers in the last 16:31 of the game.

Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics went on a 55-31 run to close out the game. Despite Bradley's game winning shot, Marcus Smart and Jonas Jerebko were the two key factors in this team effort. In 13 minutes on the court, Jerebko was +22 with 10 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist and a block. He was 4-4 shooting and 2-2 from three. Marcus Smart has 27 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals and a block. He had 19 points in an 18 minute stretch and made a career high 7 three pointers. Smart was 7-10 (70%) on three-pointers, whereas for the season he shot 28.3%.