Thanks to a last-second shot by Jae Crowder, the Celtics know they will match up against a familiar foe in the first-round of the NBA Playoffs: LeBron James.
Crowder lifted the Celtics to a 95-93 win over the Toronto Raptors with a game-winning fadeaway jumper with 0.8 seconds remaining on Tuesday night at TD Garden. The win seals the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference for the Celtics, as well as a first-round matchup against James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Jae Crowder for the game-winner! Celtics win, 95-93! pic.twitter.com/BT6Vs8iwN5
— Peter Stringer (@peterstringer) April 15, 2015
The opportunity to face the NBA’s best is something Celtics coach Brad Stevens is looking forward to as he embarks on his first postseason series.
“Our guys will be excited to play [Cleveland],” Stevens said after Tuesday’s win. “To have a chance to play against the best in the league is a great opportunity”
In the Celtics locker room, Crowder seemed eager for the challenge ahead.
“I’m ready to go to war with these guys,” Crowder declared, “I’m ready to go to war.”
Game 1 of the series will begin in Cleveland at Quicken Loans Arena on either Saturday or Sunday. In the meantime, Stevens says he plans to rest players for the team’s regular season finale on Wednesday in Milwaukee. Starting shooting guard Avery Bradley will not make the trip after leaving Tuesday’s game with a left quad contusion.