Kyrie hits last-minute circus shot, but Celts find way to stop him with game on the line

Don’t look now, but it appears the newly reloaded Cleveland Cavaliers have a legit challenger in the East.

The Celtics went to-to-toe with the defending champs Wednesday night in Boston, with typical fourth-quarter heroics from Isaiah Thomas. But when the Cavs needed a big last-minute bucket, Kyrie Irving blew by the Little Ticket and hit this circus shot to tie it:

However, when the Cavs needed another game-tying shot from Kyrie in the final seconds, Avery Bradley made sure he wasn’t gonna hit it:

The loose-ball rebound ended up in the hands of LeBron James, who got a good look at a go-ahead three but passed it up to give Deron Williams an equally good look, which he missed, and the Celts salted away a 103-99 win — their first in three tries against the Cavs this season.

Afterward, LeBron passing up the shot was the big story for Cavs critics:

But for the Celtics, Bradley’s defense was the difference maker.

Check out all the clutch plays in this game, which we hope is a playoff preview: