The Boston Celtics just saved themselves from being swept in the Eastern Conference Finals after beating the Cleveland Cavaliers, 111-108, in Game 3 on Sunday night at Quicken Loans Arena. LeBron James, who only finished with 11 points on 30.8 percent shooting, had no excuse for his dismal performance in Game 3.
“I had a tough game, period. Not just in the second half,” James said. “I didn’t have it. That’s all I’ve got to say about my performance.”
Prior to the Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Cavaliers are 10-0 and swept their respective opponents in the first and second round. They managed to beat the Celtics in the first two games at TD Garden, giving them the opportunity to end the series in just four games. Unfortunately, Sunday night’s game didn’t go as most people expected as the Celtics performed well even without Isaiah Thomas.
Avery Bradley buries LeBron James, Cavs in Game 3
The Celtics bounced back from a 21-point deficit and tied the score at 108 with 10.8 seconds remaining in the game. Marcus Smart orchestrated the final play as the Cavaliers push for an overtime. Smart found Avery Bradley open after getting a screen from Al Horford.
With 0.1 seconds remaining, Bradley knocked down a three-pointer to seal their first win of the series. Smart and Bradley filled the void left by Thomas, leading the Celtics with 27 points and 20 points, respectively. The Celtics succeeded in limiting James’ production in the second half where he went 1-of-9 shooting from the field.
Coach Tyronn Lue: LeBron James is also a human
After the Celtics lost Isaiah Thomas due to a hip injury, most people see the Cavaliers taking an easier path to their third consecutive NBA Finals appearances. Unfortunately, they failed to take advantage of the situation and LeBron James was noticeably struggling on the offensive end of the floor.
James had established an impressive performance in the first 10 games of the Eastern Conference playoffs. However, Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals was different. Coach Tyronn Lue defended James from his critics and said that he also have an off-night like any other players.
“He’s human, so he’s going to have a night like this,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. “He didn’t shoot the ball well, and we still had a 20-point lead. A game we should have won, but they played hard. They scrapped. They have a scrappy team. We knew that coming into tonight. We knew it wouldn’t be easy, but we got some things we can correct and come back ready [for Game 4].”
Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr
Video courtesy: Youtube/Ximo Pierto