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Avery Bradley Hits Game-Winning 3 As Celtics Beat Cavaliers 111-108 In Game 3

BOSTON (CBS) -- The Celtics were without their leading scorer but still found a way to steal Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals in Cleveland.

Avery Bradley hit a game-winning three as time expired and the Celtics pulled out a 111-108 victory at Quicken Loans Arena. The Cavaliers lead the series 2-1, with Game 4 on Tuesday night.

The Celtics showed a lot of fire despite not having Isaiah Thomas (out the rest of the postseason with a hip injury), erasing a 21-point Cavaliers lead in the second half. Boston went on a 26-10 run to close out the third quarter to pull within five points, and tied things up, 95-95, with 5:33 to go in the fourth on Marcus Smart's seventh three-pointer of the contest.

After the lead went back and forth, Al Horford drained a three (which was originally ruled a long-two on the floor) with 3:08 left to give Boston a 102-101 edge. A Kyrie Irving jumper put Cleveland on top, but Smart was fouled by J.R. Smith while shooting a three with 1:19 left and hit two of his freebies to put Boston back on top 104-103.

Horford made a lovely post move on Boston's next possession to put them on top 106-103, but Smith drained a triple with 36.3 left to knot things up at 106 apiece.

Following a timeout, Avery Bradley made a nice drive to the basket to get the Cavs to collapse on him and found an open Jonas Jerebko for a long two to give Boston a 108-106 lead with 30.3 second remaining. That set up a huge two-for-one for Boston, which ended up being the difference.

Boston played decent defense but left an open the lane for Irving on the ensuing possession, who drove and made an easy layup to tie things at 108-108 with 10.7 seconds left. But out of the timeout, Bradley used a nice screen by Horford to get open, and got a friendly bounce to give Boston their first win of the series.

The Celtics outscored the Cavaliers 61-42 in the second half.

"That's not who we have in our locker room," head coach Brad Stevens said after the game when asked why the Celtics didn't pack it in and give up. "We've got guys that have chips on their shoulders. A lot of these guys have been overlooked, and this is their first opportunity to really play a meaningful role. And as they've continued to play and play better and better and better, they've just risen in their games and with our team. We knew that Friday was a 46-point disaster, worth one. It wasn't worth all four. It was worth one. So we got back together. Yesterday was a little bit tough. Today we had our spirit back."

Smart led all Celtics scorers with a career-high 27 points off 8-for-14 shooting, including 7-for-10 from three-point range. Jae Crowder added 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Kevin Love was on fire in the first half, draining seven of his 10 three-point attempts for 22 points, and finished the night with 28 points. It was a quiet night for LeBron James, who finished with 11 points, six rebounds and six assists.

The Celtics win on Sunday night assures they'll play at least one more game at the TD Garden, with Game 5 set for Thursday night in Boston.

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