His teammates and coach are confident he will be when the best-of-seven series against the Boston Celtics, led 2-1 by Cleveland, resumes tonight at 8:30 at Quicken Loans Arena. "He was happy. He was excited", said Avery Bradley, whose buzzer-beating 3-pointer gave the C's the 111-108 win.
It was Cleveland's first loss of the playoffs and ended its 13-game postseason winning streak dating to last year's NBA Finals. The Celtics made 18 3-pointers for the game.
The Celtics outscored the Cavs 61-42 in second half to rally back from a 21-point deficit during the third quarter.
Jerebko scored 10 points on 4-of-4 shooting, which included a clutch late-game jumper before Bradley's victor.
The Celtics were helped by a rare off-game by LeBron James, who finished with just 11 points. The point guard had 17 points and six assists in the first half, when he was 5-for-6 from the field and flawless on four 3-pointers. "That's what I've got to say about my performance". We didn't keep the pressure on them the way we've been accustomed to.
Bradley said Thomas wasn't in Cleveland but they were keeping in touch. "So to see him happy and smiling, it was a good feeling for us".
And as the Celtics continued to climb back into Game 3, James' lack of impact plays remained a mystery. "It wasn't his ordinary game".
James took ownership of his poor performance - his first rough game of the 2017 Playoffs - and lamented he was "glad it happened the way it did".
With or without Isaiah Thomas, the Celtics have the kind of inner stubbornness needed to pull off what happened last night. "We couldn't get stops".
"We had our downs, but we always believed in ourselves", said Jerebko.
Bradley has two go-ahead field goals in the final 10 seconds of a game in his career and both have come in Cleveland (he also hit a game-winner here in February 2016). "I feel like you have to have some type of adversity in order to be successful".
As the Cleveland Cavaliers gear up for Game 4 in their conference finals against the Boston Celtics, there is a different atmosphere. A game we should have won, but they played hard."We didn't continue to press the tempo", James said.
"We have guys who have chips on their shoulders", Stevens said.
Kyrie Irving paced the Cleveland offense with 29 points and Kevin Love added 28 points and 10 rebounds. "When you've got guys that are all on fire the way they are, the right basketball play is to find them". I don't flop. I had to tell him. Stevens didn't review much of the Game 2 tape, but there's a mental image in his head of the Cavs making tough shot after tough shot that he can't shake.