May 21, 2017, 8:38 pm
Marcus Smart had the shooting night of his life on Sunday, hitting 8-of-14 from the field and a ridiculous 7-of-10 from deep to push the Celtics to a Game 3 win with 27 points.
Smart’s hot shooting was key in erasing a 21 point deficit, as his shots kept dropping when Cleveland’s jumpers dried up in the third quarter. It needs to be said again that he hit an unconscionable seven threes on the night, and the longball was huge in this one. Boston finally got their shots to drop and actually outscored Cleveland from deep by a 54-48 margin. While simple regression to the mean indicated that the C’s would close the three point gap, nobody could’ve seen this coming, especially with Isaiah Thomas out of commission. While this win without Isaiah will feed the hot take artists out there, the Celtics can’t rely on this type of shooting performance to repeat in Game 4. And while Boston is certainly a better team with Thomas on the floor, replacing him with Smart does provide a different dimension – one that Cleveland may not have had time to prepare for. He brought the goods on defense as well, a welcome change for a Celtics squad that had been torched twice on their home floor. Along with 27 points, Smart added five rebounds, seven assists, two steals and a block in 41 minutes. This was a whale of a game.