#BleedGreen F Jaylen Brown after 118-114 loss at #LetEmKnow : “There were key, vital plays that we missed, but we can’t blame fatigue. We came in, saying we’d win this. There are no moral victories in this shit. We’ve got to be better.” @cavs #NBA pic.twitter.com/dQMUOhFhIj
— Brian Dulik (@BrianDulik) March 7, 2023
Boston, who played a double overtime game the night before against the New York Knicks, was without Jayson Tatum, Robert Williams III and Al Horford in Monday’s game.
Despite that, the Celtics were leading by double digits in the fourth quarter before Cleveland stormed back to take the lead in the final minute.
Boston’s Derrick White hit a 3-point shot to give the team a two-point lead, but Donovan Mitchell drew a foul and made two free throws to tie the game.
However, that didn’t mean Boston couldn’t win in regulation.
Forward Grant Williams was fouled with 0.8 seconds left in the game, setting up two free throws to essentially ice things for Boston. He ended up missing both shots, sending the game to overtime.
Williams may have been a little overconfident prior to the shots.
"I'm gonna make both"
Grant Williams before missing game-winning FTs 😳 pic.twitter.com/1naXwJOBL9
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 7, 2023
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) March 7, 2023
Since the Celtics had a real shot to win Monday’s game, it’s understandable that Brown is frustrated. Boston suffered two heartbreaking losses in the back-to-back, and it now is two games back of the Milwaukee Bucks for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
For Cleveland, Monday’s win was a big one against a short-handed Boston team. The Cavs didn’t play their best basketball, but they made clutch plays late, led by 40 points from Mitchell.
Mitchell and Brown traded buckets all night, and the Celtics star finished Monday’s game with 32 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists. The two-time All-Star played over 40 minutes in both games of the back-to-back.
Brown and the Celtics are hoping they can turn things around after a rough stretch, having lost three straight games.
The Celtics and Cavs won’t play again in the regular season, but they may find themselves matched up in the postseason. Cleveland won three of the four meetings between the two teams in the regular season.
With Monday’s win, the Cavs moved to 41-26 on the season. They are the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, sitting just 2.5 games back of the No. 3 seed Philadelphia 76ers.