BOSTON (CBS) — Avery Bradley may have hit the final dagger against the Cavaliers, but Marcus Smart’s superlative effort in the Celtics’ upset win in Game 3 should not go unnoticed. In a game where the C’s had to play without Isaiah Thomas, by far their best scorer, Smart took the offensive mantle and delivered big-time.
Smart finished with 27 points on 8-for-14 shooting, and was especially deadly from three-point range, shooting 7-for-10 from downtown. He added five rebounds, seven assists, two steals and a block, leading all Celtics starters with a plus-8 differential.
The Celtics needed a big-time game from someone in order to have a chance of winning even one game in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cavs, especially with Isaiah on the shelf for the rest of the playoffs. Smart certainly stepped up in that regard.
Twitter took notice of Smart’s dominant effort in Game 3 as the Celtics’ second-half comeback was unfolding. Here are the best reactions to the guard’s explosive performance:
Smart checked in on Twitter himself after the game when he thanked Travis Ford, his former coach at Oklahoma State, for the kind words:
Smart lauded the effort of the entire Celtics team in out-working the healthier, better-rested, and more talented Cavs when he spoke to NBA.com while walking off the court.
“We’ve been trying to be that team that when teams play us, they know they’re going to have to work for everything,” said Smart. “[In Game 3] we came out and we did that.”
Smart and the Celtics may not ultimately prevail in the series, but to hand the Cavs their first loss of the postseason without Isaiah was a big achievement in itself.