Cavs vs. Celtics, Game 3
at TD Garden
Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals
(Cavs lead the best-of-seven series, 2-1)
Game 4 is 3:30 p.m. Sunday in Boston
WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs have command of the series, especially if they're able to prevail in Game 4.
There were concerns from their fan base heading into the game. All of that concern went out the window when LeBron James scored a franchise playoff record 21 points in the first quarter. He finished with a game-high 38 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
The Celtics had absolutely no answer for James. Forward Paul Pierce was trying to guard him, but he was unable to put up much resistance.
Coach Doc Rivers said the Celtics are a defensive team. They are built on defense. Two years ago when they won the NBA championship, that was the reason why.
That defense is letting them down in this series, especially after the Cavs shot 59.5 percent from the field (44 of 74).
The Cavs also pushed the Celtics around on the boards, 45-30.
They received balanced scoring, as all five starters were in double figures. Guard Delonte West was huge off the bench with 14 points.
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Z-LESS - The only active player on either team that didn't play was center Zydrunas Ilgauskas. When Coach Mike Brown called off the dogs with 5 minutes to play, there was ample time for Z to get warmed up and play down the stretch. But he didn't.
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DOMINATING PERFORMANCE: How dominant were the Cavs? They never trailed in the game and opened up a 35-point bulge in the fourth quarter.
SF LeBron James (6-8, 250) vs. Paul Pierce (6-7, 235)
PF Antawn Jamison (6-9, 235) vs. Kevin Garnett (6-11, 253)
C Shaquille O'Neal (7-1, 325) vs. Kendrick Perkins (6-10, 265)
SG Anthony Parker (6-6, 210) vs. Ray Allen (6-5, 205)
PG Mo Williams (6-1, 190) vs. Rajon Rondo (6-1, 186)
PROJECTED INACTIVE LIST
Cavs – G Danny Green, G Sebastian Telfair, F Jawad Williams
Celtics - F Tony Gaffney, G Oliver Lafayette, F Brian Scalabrine
Bennett Salvatore, Ken Mauer, Zach Zarba