Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals was lopsided. The Cleveland Cavaliers were down 0-2 in the series with the Boston Celtics in the driver’s seat.
LeBron James and company had to win the game to have any chance of extending things and they set the pace from the very beginning. Defensively, it was night and day. They came out with more intensity, they were contesting shots and the King was exerting more energy on that side of the floor.
On the other hand, the C’s weren’t hitting their shots like they normally do, they started playing more ISO ball and key players weren’t as effective as they usually are.
Al Horford only had 7 points and 7 rebounds. Jaylen Brown only scored 10 points. Terry Rozier finished with 13 points. The only one that showed up is Jayson Tatum, but he needs more help to go along with his 18 points on the night.
Rozier had this to say about the game afterwards:
“We needed to get our butts whooped. Come back to reality and take care of business on Monday. I feel like we needed this to get us back, to get us ready for Monday.”
Then again, the Cavs shooters were knocking everything down too.
Every Cleveland started was in double figures, with Kevin Love and George Hill dropping 13 points, JR Smith cooked 11 points and even Tristan Thompson had 10 by the end of the game. James, once again, led the Cavs in scoring with 27 points, but he also dished out 12 assists in the win.
Game 4 of the ECF is Monday at 8:30pm EST on ESPN, where the Cleveland will be looking to tie up the series and defend home court. If they lose again, it may be a wrap as things head back to Boston for Game 5.