CLEVELAND – Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 111-108 buzzer-beating Game 3 win over Cleveland.
The two-way standout has hit his share of big shots for the Boston Celtics, but all pale in comparison to the game-winning, rim-tickling 3-pointer he hit in Game 3. It was part of a 20-point, 4-assist night.
Without question, the biggest shock of the night for the Celtics was the play of Smart. Filling in for an injured Isaiah Thomas, Smart led the Celtics with a playoff career-high 27 points which included a career-best seven made 3’s. He also chipped in seven assists with just two turnovers and a blocked shot.
He set the tone for what had the makings of a Cleveland crushing in Game 3, scoring 22 of his 28 points in the first half. In addition to the 28 points, he also had 10 rebounds and three blocked shots.
Like Love, Irving was extremely efficient most of the game before finishing with a game-high 29 points on 10-for-15 shooting. He also had seven assists.
Maybe the biggest X-factor of the game, Jerebko made all four of his shots from the field including a go-ahead 22-foot jumper with 30 seconds to play. In addition to his eight points, Jerebko also had five rebounds and a blocked shot while posting an impressive plus/minus of +22 – tops among all players.
The way the game was playing out, it appeared that Thompson would be the star of the game if the Cavs held on for the win. He finished with a double-double of 18 points and 13 rebounds (7 offensive) with 12 points and six rebounds coming in the second half when most of his teammates struggled.
With Marcus Smart in the starting lineup, the Celtics were going to lean on Olynyk more than ever to generate some offense from the bench. He came through in a big way, scoring 15 points on 5-for-8 shooting to go with three rebounds and two assists.
Game 3 has to rank high among the biggest disappearing acts we’ve seen from James … ever. He finished with just 11 points on 4-for-13 shooting, taking his frustration out on a fan after the game who made a point that we all know is true – he has to be better than 11 points. Making matters worse, James played the entire fourth quarter and didn’t score a single point. Whether it was Boston’s defense or James just having one of those historically horrible night (it was the largest blown lead of his NBA career in a playoff game), the bottom line is that he played a poor game – about as poor a game as he’s had ever in the postseason.