By John ‘The Dude’ Hardiman, 985TheSportsHub.com
LeBron James came out into Game 3 and told the Boston Celtics, “not in my house,” as the Cleveland Cavaliers finished off a 30-point win to cut the Celtics’ lead to 2-1 in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Celtics came into the game with a 2-0 series lead, but a concerning 1-4 record on the road throughout the 2018 NBA Playoffs.
Prior to tip, the radio voice of the Celtics, Sean Grande had this troubling road stat.
The Celtics have not won a road game in regulation since March 28th (a game they trailed by 6 with 2:15 remaining). Which is odd since on that date, they held the NBA’s 2nd best road record (Houston), and were 3½ games better on the road, than at home. pic.twitter.com/09ldnOXHfc— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) May 19, 2018
James and company came right out of the gate with purpose.
After the opening three minutes of the game the Cavaliers were already up 9-4 over the Celtics before ripping off an 11-0 run for a 20-4 lead with 5:03 to play in the first.
James and the Cavs were up, 32-17, at the end first after shooting better than 47 percent from the field, with the C’s shooting a measly 33 percent.
The Cavs kept shooting the lights out through the start of the second, fighting off any offensive push the Celtics threw their way.
James knocked down a big-time three to give the Cavs what was at the time, their largest lead of the night at, 52-32, with 4:17 left in the first half.
The Celtics trailed the Cavs, 61-41, heading into halftime after James dropped a quick 19 points on 75 percent shooting in the opening half.
Cleveland shot 51 percent from the field in the first half, whereas Boston shot 40 percent.
But the story of the first half was the Celtics inability to knock down the deep ball, while limiting fouls and turnovers. The C’s only knocked down 2-of-9 from deep.
Despite a two-plus minute scoring drought for both teams and an extended one for Cleveland, the Celtics just couldn’t gain any ground on the Cavs.
The Cavaliers went onto take a commanding 87-63 lead into the final quarter of play.
Boston’s lack of defense continued throughout the fourth, as the Cavaliers would go onto build their largest lead of the night.
With the Cavs maintaining their lead, James hit the bench with 6:49 left in the final frame.
After out-scoring the Celtics in every quarter, the Cavaliers finished off the game with their largest lead of the night at, 116-86.
James led all scorers with 27-point (8-12 FG), 12-assist double-double, to go along with five rebounds and a pair of steals and blocks.
Kevin Love posted a double-double as well, with 13 points and 14 boards.
All five of the Cavaliers’ starters scored in double-digits, with Kyle Korver dropping 14 points (4-4 3PT) off the bench.
Jayson Tatum lead all Celtics scorers with 18 points on 60 percent shooting from the field.
Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier III combined for 23 points on 8-of-20 from the field and 3-of-7 from beyond the arc.
Greg Monroe had 10 points and five boards off the bench for the C’s.
The Celtics finished the game shooting 39.2 percent from the field and a below average 27.3 percent from three.
As for the Cavaliers, they finished the game shooting 48.7 percent from the field.
And after shooting 15.4 and 32.3 percent from three in the first two games of the series, the Cavs went onto shoot a mind blowing 50 percent (17-34 3PT).
The Celtics were out-rebounded 45-34, but both teams committed 15 turnovers.
The Celtics, who are now 1-5 on the road for the playoffs, will stay in Cleveland for Game 4 on Monday night at 8:30 p.m.
UP NEXT: The #2 Boston Celtics (55-27/2-1) will remain in Cleveland to take on the #4 Cavaliers (50-32/1-2) on Monday night in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Catch the call of the game with Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell, live on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Pre-game coverage begins at 8:00 p.m., with tip-off set for 8:30 p.m.
John Hardiman is a Digital Producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for John? Hit him up on Twitter @HardiDude or e-mail him at email@example.com.
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