Bradley's three-pointer beats Cleveland
CLEVELAND — Avery Bradley made a corner jumper at the horn to give the Boston Celtics a stunning 104-103 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.
Bradley's shot from just in front of Boston's bench dropped through as the final second ticked off the clock, giving the Celtics their eighth win in nine games.
Boston trailed by five with 18 seconds left before Celtics forward Jae Crowder made a 3-pointer — his only basket — and Evan Turner scored on a layup while being fouled by J.R. Smith with 4 seconds to go. Turner missed his free throw but the ball went out of bounds off Cleveland's LeBron James.
Boston coach Brad Steven drew up an inbounds play during a video review and Bradley dropped his shot, triggering a wild celebration by the young Celtics.
James led the Cavs with 30 points.
Isaiah Thomas scored 22 and Turner had 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Celtics, who were swept by the Cavs in the playoffs last season but are developing into a dangerous team under Stevens.
James scored 13 in the fourth quarter for the Cavs, who dropped 5-3 under new coach Tyronn Lue.
Cleveland appeared to be in control when Kyrie Irving, who finished with 19 points, knocked down two free throws to make it 103-99. But Smith inexplicably got too close to Turner and bumped him from behind on his layup, committing his sixth foul. The Cavs then failed to come up with Turner's missed free throw and the Celtics made them pay.
The Cavaliers lost Kevin Love in the third quarter with a bruised left thigh. A limping Love had to be helped to the locker room and did not return.
Love isn't having any luck when he runs into the Celtics. He suffered a season-ending shoulder injury against them last season in the first round of the playoffs — courtesy of Celtics center Kelly Olynyk — and he may have to miss a few games with his bruise.
Olynyk was booed every time he touched the ball by Cleveland fans, who will never forgive him for yanking Love's left shoulder from the socket. The injury ended Love's postseason — he needed nearly six months to recover from surgery — and slowed the Cavs' NBA title chase.
In the second quarter, Olynyk got free on a breakaway and didn't realize he was being chased by Richard Jefferson, who came from behind and slapped the ball away to the crowd's delight. Jefferson seemed to make a clean strip but was called for a foul.
Down by 15 in the first half, the Celtics opened the third quarter with an 11-2 spurt to take their first lead at 54-51.
Celtics: Crowder played on a tender right ankle after rolling it Wednesday night. ... Thomas went to the locker room briefly in the first quarter to get his right ankle re-taped. ... Despite proclivity behind the arc (a career-high 41 percent) and Canadian roots, Olynyk was not chosen to participate in the All-Star 3-Point Shooting Contest later this month.
Cavaliers: G Matthew Dellavedova missed his second straight game with a sore left hamstring. ... Lue spent four years on Boston's coaching staff under Doc Rivers and said the time with the one of the NBA's most storied franchises shaped him as a coach. "Being there with Doc, I learned a lot," Lue said. "Everything I do is Doc Rivers-driven. Being around the winningest franchise in NBA history and a lot of tradition, it was a great all-around experience."
Celtics: Host Sacramento on Sunday.
Cavaliers: Host New Orleans on Saturday.
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