The Cleveland Cavaliers returned to their home floor and got back on track as they beat the Boston Celtics 116-86 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, but still trail in the series 2 games to 1.
Lebron James and George Hill set the tone early with 23 of the team’s 32 first quarter points and the Cavs never looked back.
James finished with 27 points, 12 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks in 38 minutes of action and was one of six Cavaliers in double figures in scoring.
Kevin Love had 13 points and 14 rebounds, Tristan Thompson had 10 points and seven rebounds, George Hill added 13 points, J.R. Smith had 11 points to break his cold streak and Kyle Korver added 14 points off the bench.
Cleveland was red hot shooting the ball from beyond the arc going 17 of 34 from three point distance. They also out rebounded Boston 45 to 34 and had more assists with 23 to Boston’s 16.
Boston looked like a completely different team than what they were during the first two games of the series on their home floor but that has been the story of the Celtics postseason.
Jayson Tatum led the way for the Celtics with 18 points. Terry Rozier had 13 points, Jaylen Brown and Greg Monroe had 10 each. Al Horford who was a key part of the first two games was quiet with just 7 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists.
Cleveland’s defense rattled Boston and forced them into 15 turnovers which led to 14 points for the Cavs. Boston was limited to 39.2% shooting and 6-22 (27.3%) from three point range.
For the Cavs, they have to come out with this same intensity and hot start again on Monday night for Game 4. Lebron James also needs to get his teammates involved early. At many times, Boston was focusing too much on James and it led to his teammates getting open looks inside and outside.
Brad Stevens will likely make those adjustments after watching the film but that could lead to James getting more opportunities and with already having five games of 40 or more points in this postseason already, we may see another in Game 4 Monday night.
The Cavs may be down in this series but the momentum could be shifting back into their favor.