After getting off to slow starts in the first halves of the series, the Cleveland Cavaliers high-powered offense finally woke up in Boston in a 103-95 win.
Unlike in the first two games where the Cavs looked sluggish and sloppy early on, they came out hot and aggressive in the early moments of Game Three at the TD Garden in Boston.
It was crucial for Cleveland to start hot because the crowd in Boston was raucous and if they fell behind early, the loud crowd may have not let them crawl back in the game like they did in the first contests.
In a game in which the Cavaliers s finally won a first quarter in this series, they would use the last 9 points of the half by LeBron James to take a 56-48 lead into halftime.
They kept the momentum in the third quarter and didn’t allow the Celtics to crawl back into the game as they maintained the eight-point lead heading into the final frame.
In true championship fashion, the Cavaliers did not allow the boys from Beantown to breathe as they put things away in the fourth quarter and came away, courtesy of Love’s game-clinching corner three-pointer.
LeBron James had his best showing of the playoffs as he scored 31 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and dished out 4 assists while stealing the ball 4 times and blocking 2 shots. This massive effort from James came on the hills of him publicly supporting his head coach David Blatt for the first time all season.
It truly looks like this Cavs team is united and improving by the game. With Kyrie Irving guarded heavily all night long by a scrappy Celtics defense, the Cavs found Love more than willing and able to step in as the second scoring threat behind LeBron James.
Love finished with 23 points, 9 rebounds and knocked down several key three pointers that stopped a couple of Celtic rallies. Love looked–and played–like a max contract player, when it matter most.
Boston once again did their best to hang in there with the Cavs, but it wasn’t enough to pull off the upset. They were led by Evan Turner with 19 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists. Isiah Thomas who had a great first two games, was held in check all night long and finished with only five points.