......occasionally it allows you to pull off a miracle.
Cavs up 5 with 18 seconds left......Cavs up 4 with 7.5 seconds left. Cavs lose at home 104-103.
The Cavs took a 101-96 lead with 18.6 seconds remaining when Kyrie Irving sank two free throws -- and still lost, at home.
On the ensuing possession, the Celtics were hounded by the Cavs, who forced Bradley into a 27-footer topside over Tristan Thompson. The shot had no chance and, indeed, clanged off the front of the rim with 10 seconds left. Fortunately for the Celtics, the ball dropped into the hands of Jared Sullinger, who flipped it to a wide-open Jae Crowder on the left side. Crowder drilled the 3-pointer to pull Boston within 101-99 with eight seconds remaining.
LeBron had been guarding Crowder but moved into the paint seeking the rebound.
The 3-pointer was Crowder's only basket of the game. He finished 1-of-9, including 1-of-5 from 3-point range, for three points.
After the inbounds pass, Irving was fouled by Sullinger and sank two free throws to make it 103-99 with 7.5 seconds left.
The Celtics put the ball in the hands of former Ohio State standout Evan Turner on the left side. Turner beat J.R. Smith off the dribble, drove to the basket along the baseline, scored and drew a foul on Smith.
Smith absolutely, positively must not foul in that situation -- but he was assessed one. Smith, as usual, flapped his arms in disbelief. Replays showed minimal body-to-body contact, but enough that Turner was able to sell it.
Based on the game's level of physicality, Smith had a right to wonder why the whistle blew. But he never should have been close to Turner, nor should he have allowed Turner to go baseline in the first place.
Adding pain for Cleveland, Smith fouled out. He scored 20, 15 of which came via 3-pointers, and posted a +6 in 33 minutes.
Turner missed the free throw, and Cavs center Timofey Mozgov was in prime position to grab the rebound. Mozgov, unable to shake Marcus Smart, failed to secure the ball and it deflected off LeBron and out of bounds with 4.1 seconds remaining.
Mozgov (listed at 7-1, 275) absolutely, positively must control Smart (6-4, 220) in that situation. It didn't happen because, once again, Mozgov played small. Smart out-muscled him.
Fox Sports Ohio analyst Austin Carr said: "A lot of this comes from not making people respect you as a physical player. If they don't respect you, they're going to attack you.''
An NBA video review confirmed that Boston retained possession. Point guard Isaiah Thomas received the inbounds pass in the left corner after Bradley screened Iman Shumpert. Thompson switched onto Thomas. A split-second later, Thomas was double-teamed by Thompson (behind) and Richard Jefferson (in front) to the left of the paint. Jefferson had been guarding the inbounder, Crowder.
As Shumpert took a step toward Thomas, Bradley came off a Sullinger screen to pop open in the left corner. Thomas passed to Bradley, who momentarily mishandled the ball before dribbling once and firing over Shumpert.