Playoff basketball is often physical. The Boston Celtics were physical in the first two games but lost both. Here, they adapted physicality to the harshest extent as strategy to combat Cleveland Caveliers’ finesse. Once more their tactics didn’t pay off as LeBron James and Kevin Love guided the visitors to a 103-95 victory in game 3.
“They have to start cleaning it up, so the rest of the game can be played clean. You can’t keep letting this type of stuff go on because the game will get ugly,” Fox sports Ohio analyst Austin Carr said during the last minute of the first session regarding the referees.
Despite the opponent’s provocations, the Cavs never lost composure and kept on dominating the game. They were focused to extend their lead to 3-0 in the seven match series. LeBron James notched up 31 points and 11 rebounds, a standout performance on Thursday evening. He shot 13 of 26 from the field, 4 of 5 from the line.
James arrived one hour earlier alongside teammate J.R. Smith at the morning shoot-around, which according to coach David Blatt is a sign of his leadership quality.
Smith also scored 15 points.
”We were together last night watching playoff games,” James said in an interview. ”He said he wanted to go early and I said, ‘Let’s go.'”
Kevin Love added 6 of 10 from a 3-point range while Celtics reduced the margin to 95-92, scored 23 points with 3 assists and nine rebounds in the biggest sequences of the game to keep the momentum going for the winners. This is Love’s best ever playoff show.
”Kevin has been great,” Blatt said.
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