Smart returns, scores 3 in Celts' loss vs

Celtics Smart cleared for full contact hopeful for Game 4

Prepare the right way. Antetokounmpo went to the free throw line 22 times in Game 3, drawing gripes from Irving afterwards. "You know, seeing two, three bodies, sometimes four, still kicking out and trying to make the right plays". Most memorably, in the final minute of Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, he drilled a clutch three-pointer over Golden State Warriors point guard Steph Curry to help lift the Cavs to their first-ever championship. I mean, he shot 22 on the game.

"I missed shots", Irving said. But he was 7-for-22 from the floor, including 1-for-7 from three-point range; after leading all scorers with 26 points in Boston's Game 1 blowout, he has made 19-of-62 shots and just 4-of-20 from three-point range. If Kyrie legitimately doesn't like playing basketball in Boston, then he shouldn't sign a contract to play for Boston and you shouldn't want him to. This is going to look silly if they win tonight, but I'm saying it anyway: I won't complain if I don't have to watch this team for another six months after tonight.

The Nets are coming off a building block season that ended in a playoff berth, but still need star power on the roster.

Boston beat Milwaukee in seven games in the first round last year and went on to lose to LeBron James and the Cavaliers in seven games in last year's conference finals.

Irving, though, remained defiant afterward that his shot, eventually, would start falling. It happened with the series possibly ending in five games with a loss in Milwaukee on Wednesday, and it happened against the backdrop of Irving's impending free agency. The Celtics could definitely use an offensive spark from him, as they went 13-4 in regular-season games when he scored more than 15 points and 25-4 when he shot better than 50 percent from the field.

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"Feeling good today", Smart said after taking part in Boston's practice.

"It takes a lot of mental fortitude, it takes a lot of mental toughness, and it reveals a lot", Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. That's where we stand. "It's just slowing the (expletive) game down".

At the end of the day, Kyrie Irving wanted to prove that he could lead a team. He is set to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and that long walk down the hallway Monday night could've been the final time Irving makes it as a Celtic if he chooses to head elsewhere come July.

"It's exciting", Kyrie Irving said of the possibility of Smart returning.

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