Cleveland wont be swept in this Eastern Conference Finals thanks to three days of rest that allowed the Cavs to find their three-point shooting touch and an inevitable off game by a Celtics squad that was tearing through opponents in these playoffs and bound to lay an egg eventually.
Thanks to 17 three-pointers by Cleveland, Lebron James (27 points and 12 assists) didnt have to carry the entire offensive load by himself. Fans and media around the country were basically calling Bron’s supporting cast trash before Game 3. I personally wrote about the fact that JR Smith seems to be washed up and unable to help the Cavs.
J.R. Smith and co. knows they need to do a better job helping LeBron. https://t.co/FwQFDap6L2
But in Game 3 there was a JR Smith sighting and six Cavs scored in double figures. Kevin Love hit four of those threes and added 14 rebounds in lifting the Cavs to a 116-86 victory in Game 3 over Boston on Saturday night and tightening the series at 2-1.
Six players scored in double figures as the squad secured the Saturday victory! GAME 3 RECAP https://t.co/ke6QWSkH7m #WhateverItTakes
The Green Machine was never in this game as the three-day layoff worked adversely against them and stifled their momentum. The Cavs, playing out of desperation, built a 19-point lead in the first quarter, pushed it to 30 in the second half and overpowered the Celtics, who fell to 1-5 on the road in the postseason.
Cleveland fans are ecstatic that the Cavs wont be victims of a sweep, but if the team has to count on 17 three-pointers and a miserable offensive output by a multifaceted Celtics team to win games in this series, a comeback is unlikely.
Everything that needed to go right for Cleveland, including playing at home, did.
Game 3 was a tough one, but our guys will look to turn Game 4 into a different story by cleaning up mistakes at the defensive end. https://t.co/5x1TXguK03
It was an eye-opening introduction to the roller coaster of emotions and unpredictable results that the NBA playoffs breeds. Cavs fans hope that they could become just the 20th team out of a possible 301 teams to ever overcome a 2-0 deficit in the playoffs and the first team in history to beat the Celtics in a playoff series after going down 2-0.
To get back to the Finals, LeBron James and the Cavaliers will have to do something nobody has ever done: beat the Celtics after trailing 2-0 in a best-of-7 series. Boston is 37-0 in those series, the best record in NBA history.
Ironically, James and the Cavs, who previously did it in 2007 and again in 2016 are in this position again. However, if you watched the game and saw how poorly the Celtics played and how uncharacteristically magnificent Cleveland shot from long distance, its understandable how the Celtics lost, but still very unlikely that Brad Stevens will allow his team to be as offensively inept as they were in Game 3.