The 83-foot jump shot is a good place to start.
Already with 25 points in the game, LeBron James hit a shot seemingly from his own bench at the end of the third quarter to give the Cavaliers an 82-76 lead.
Cleveland would need those three points.
Mike Vrabel was in the house tonight to see James, and at times the NBA’s wonder child looked like the Patriots linebacker barreling down the court. The superstar wowed the sold-out crowd with an array of dunks and turnaround jumpers. He finished with 32 points, six rebounds, and four assists.
James’s only miscue came when he failed to complete a fast-break dunk after taking a foul from Ryan Gomes. LeBron sat licking his fingers on one of the green tables on the baseline as if he thought a little extra saliva would do the trick next time.
Tony Allen led the Celtics with 21 points. Allen caught fire at the beginning of the second half and stretched the Boston lead to five, but Cleveland hung with the Celtics. The Cavs took the lead at the end of the third quarter as a tiring Celtics team could no longer contain Cleveland’s explosive offense.
Boston hung tough in the game, coming as close as 95-94 with 4:28 remaining. Gerald Green brought the Celtics to within two with under a minute to play, and Tony Allen had a chance to tie the game with 8.3 seconds left. But Allen missed the first of two free-throws and the Celtics trailed, 105-104.
Cleveland inbounded to James and Allen fouled him with 7.6 seconds left. James knocked down both shots, and Wally Szczerbiak’s three-pointer missed at the other end as the Celtics fell, 107-104.
James had a quiet 14 points on 6 for 9 shooting in the first half. Allen seemed to do a good job on James in the period but LeBron was still able to get his points.
Al Jefferson (18 points, 12 rebounds) recorded his tenth double-double of the season tonight.
We’ll be back in a bit with reaction from both locker rooms.