Cavs Benchwarmer Stuns League-Leading Celtics With All-Star Fourth Quarter

Dean Wade was on fire while helping the Cavs erase a 22-point deficit in the fourth quarter

Dean Wade of the Cleveland Cavaliers
Dean Wade of the Cleveland Cavaliers was on fire in the fourth quarter.
Jason Miller/Getty

Moments before the Bruins blew a 1-0 lead with just over a minute remaining in the third period before losing to the Edmonton Oilers in overtime, Boston fans were subjected to seeing the Cavaliers snap the Celtics‘ 11-game winning streak (the NBA’s longest winning streak this season) with a 34-11 run to close the fourth quarter that earned Cleveland a 105-104 victory.

The Cavaliers were trailing the Celtics by 22 points in the final frame, playing without All-Star Donovan Mitchell (knee injury) and star forward Evan Mobley (sprained ankle). But they pulled off the biggest fourth-quarter comeback in franchise history with Dean Wade — a bench player who’s averaged 5.2 points per game during his five-year career — leading the way. A 27-year-old power forward out of Kansas State, Wade made five 3-pointers and scored 20 points in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Celtics (17 points in the fourth) all by himself.

Jaylen Brown, the highest-paid player in the NBA, had zero points and didn’t even attempt a shot in the fourth quarter for Boston. Jayson Tatum, who has been mentioned in the MVP conversation and led Boston with a game-high 26 points, missed seven of eight shots in the fourth and had just two points as the Celtics gagged away their big lead.

“It’s kind of like, your mind’s quiet, and the rim looks huge. That’s all I can tell you,” Wade told Cavaliers sideline reporter Serena Winters. “The rim looked like a swimming pool.” 

The loss dropped Boston to 48-13 on the season and raised Cleveland’s record to 40-21. In addition to the Celtics and Cavs, who won a game against the Mavericks last week on Max Strus’s 60-foot shot at the buzzer, there are four other NBA teams with at least 40 wins: Minnesota, Oklahoma City, Denver and Milwaukee.

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Taylor Swift wasn’t with them, but Cleveland-born Travis and Jason Kelce were both in attendance on Tuesday night to see Wade and the Cavs dispatch the league-leading Celtics. “We had a blast,” Jason, who announced his retirement from the NFL earlier this week, said after the game.

Suffice to say, so did Wade, who got a job offer from Swift’s boyfriend after finishing with a career-high 23 points. “He said if basketball didn’t work out for me, I could be a backup tight end,” he said. “I got good hands. That was just awesome. Pretty cool.”

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