Thursday, 18 October, 2018

LeBron, Cavs try to shake 'weird' loss in Game 3 to Celtics

Vera Richards | 26 May, 2017, 08:53

James kept a low profile Monday, and did not address the media a day after one of the worst postseason games of his career.

Led by its Big Three, Cleveland quickly built a 21-point lead in the first quarter, while getting lots of contributions from their teammates.

The money line for the Celtics against the Cavs in Game 4 is set at +1200, meaning that a $100 bet on the Celtics would win you $1,200. Boston failed twice to beat the Cavaliers as they hosted them in TD Garden for the first two games of the series, but they did defeat Cleveland in their territory yesterday. LeBron was certainly not in the mood to talk after the game, and when a reporter tried to get to the bottom of LeBron's poor performance, King James shrugged. He's responded in the next game with mixed results, going 4-5 with averages of 24.8 points on 41.8 percent shooting, 8.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists.

But James wasn't himself Sunday night, not by a long stretch. Not much more could get worse for the Celtics heading into Game 3. Indeed, Cleveland missed 15-of-17 long-range shots in the second half after nailing 14-of-22 in the first and second quarters. But me personally, I didn't have it. "He can play 1-5, rebounds the ball well, can really pass, and when he gets to scoring the ball like he was (Sunday) night it's just handsome to see". But me, personally, I didn't have it.

There wasn't much to gush about, that's for sure. It's the second time he's failed to score in the fourth quarter of a playoff game, joining Game 4 of the 2011 NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks.

Freezing Boston defenders with his dribble and driving to the basket whenever he wanted, Irving made six layups, two 3-pointers and a free throw in a dizzying span of 4:48.

"No message", Lue said. Previously, LeBron was 49-0 in the playoffs when his team led by 20-plus points. They scrapped. They have a scrappy team.

"It was one of those games we had to fight through and we had to earn it", he said.

Four out of the five Celtics starters finished with at least 15 points (Jae Crowder, Al Horford, Kelly Olynyk and Avery Bradley). His season is over because of a hip injury, and although he's not around, his presence was felt by his teammates who rallied to keep their season alive.

"Offensively, we didn't attack", Lue said. He's about as unique as it gets because he's tough, physical, but at the same time he does a lot of little things people don't notice.

"The guy is a tremendous basketball player".

"I thought he flopped", Jerebko said. Let's regroup and get back to playing desperate basketball, which they did tonight. "We only had two fast-break points, so they neutralized what we wanted to do".

With their loss to Boston in Game 3, the Cavaliers saw a 13-game SU win streak during the playoffs come to a close. "It happens. You're not going to win all the games".

James had been saying that he felt like the Cavs needed to go through some adversity after a blistering 10-0 start to the postseason. "We lost; it happens". Like you mentioned to me, he's going to compete, and sometimes he'll try to hit home runs, and then we talk about those after the game and we always say, and it's true, those are his greatest strengths. "The ones we gotta look at are the ones he got at the rim".

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