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The Cleveland Cavaliers had their toughest test yet Thursday evening going into Boston against the gritty Celtics squad with their crowd behind them. The Cavs, led by LeBron James with 31 points and Kevin Love with 23, defeated the Celtics 103-95 in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series.
The Cavs started off aggressive, as LeBron James scored the first two baskets at the rim. Followed up by a Kevin Love three-pointer and five more points from Timofey Mozgov, Cleveland took a 12-7 lead early. Kyrie Irving, who got off to great starts in Games 1 and 2, didn’t score a field goal in the first quarter. The rest of the Cavs picked up the slack, however, as Cleveland pushed it’s lead to as much as six points, but led 31-25 after the first quarter.
Cleveland sustained it’s lead until 38-31; from that point, Boston went on a 12-3 run to take a 43-41 lead. Once they were down 44-48, Cleveland ran off 12 straight points to end the half and take a 56-48 halftime lead.
The third quarter was a quarter of runs, as the Celtics ran off eight straight points to tie the game up early in the third, but LeBron, Love, and J.R. Smith each scored three points to give the Cavs a 67-60 lead. Boston scored six straight to go back down by one, which was followed by 11 straight Cavs points as Cleveland retook a double-digit lead at 78-66. Kyrie Irving finally scored his first field goal late in the third, and Cleveland took an 84-76 lead into the fourth quarter.
LeBron took over the beginning of the fourth, scoring seven straight Cavalier points and assisting on a Tristan Thompson alley-oop dunk. After exchanging baskets down the stretch, Boston got within three at 95-92, but Kevin Love hit back-to-back three-pointers from the corners that would turn out to be the daggers. LeBron James put the exclamation point with an emphatic block on Evan Turner as Cleveland defeated Boston in Game 3, 103-95.
LeBron James led the way with 31 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, four steals and two blocks. Kevin Love scored 23 points with nine rebounds and three assists, including 6-10 from downtown. J.R. Smith scored 15, Kyrie Irving added 13, and Timofey Mozgov put in five points. The Cavs bench played better than Game 2, scoring a combined 16 points, with Thompson scoring 12 of those and Shumpert scoring the other four.
Despite the valiant effor by Bostonm, the Cavs are looking to sweep the Celtics Sunday afternoon in Game 4. No team in NBA history has ever come back from an 0-3 deficit, with all teams being 0-110 in their comeback attempts.
Click “Next” below for all of today’s top plays and highlights!
Kyrie takes the pick from Kevin Love, drives towards the middle, and slips a pass to Mozgov, who slams it down!
Kyrie Irving has learned a thing or two from LeBron James. One of those things includes James’ patented come-from-behind block that he pins against the backboard. Here, Irving does just that, coming from behind Evan Turner and blocking his shit right off the glass!
LeBron uses a solid pump fake to get Jae Crowder off of his feet. Crowder crashes into James as LeBron knocks down the jumper for the and 1!
LeBron steals the pass from Bradley and windmill slams it home!
Kyrie Irving goes to work on Avery Bradley, crossing him over before driving hard to the basket and scoring!