As the series moves to Cleveland, the Cavaliers will try and chip away at the Celtics’ 2-0 lead on Saturday evening. Tipoff from Game 3 at The Q is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. (ET).
On Saturday, the Wine & Gold will be looking to grab a victory at The Q, a place they’ve played excellent all postseason. The Cavaliers are 5-1 in The Land during the 2018 Playoffs, winning all five of those games in a row after dropping Game 1 of Round 1 to the Indiana Pacers.
In that five-game stretch, the Cavs are outscoring their opponents by nearly 10 points (107.2-97.8), while shooting .488 from the field, .371 from beyond the arc and .806 from the foul line. The Wine & Gold have not allowed more than 100 points in four of their six home games this postseason.
According to history, the Wine & Gold have also played well against Boston, specifically, in the playoffs. In fact, the franchise holds a 13-6 all-time home record versus Boston in the playoffs (7-3 at The Q). They have also won eight of their last 11 home games against the Celtics dating back to the 2014-15 season (regular and postseason).
History also shows that being down 0-2 in a series isn’t that big of a hole for the Cavs. There have been three times in franchise playoff history where Cleveland has comeback from a two-game deficit (2007 ECF vs. DET, 2016 Finals vs. GSW).
Of course, before the Cavs can even think about winning this series, they’ll need to start chipping away at the Celtics’ lead with help from their leaders.
In Game 2, LeBron James tallied his third triple-double of the 2018 Playoffs (22nd of career) with a game-high 42 points on 16-29 (.552) shooting, including 5-11 (.455) from deep, 10 rebounds and a game-high 12 assists.
LBJ also rang up 21 points in the first quarter, which tied his playoff career high for points in any quarter (21 PTS in 1Q at BOS on May 7, 2010). He has now set a playoff career-high with five 40-point games this postseason and leads the league in scoring at 33.4 points (.540 FG%) points per game.
Kevin Love also had a strong Game 2 performance, notching his fourth double-double this postseason with 22 points on 9-18 (.500) shooting, a game-high 15 rebounds and two assists in 35 minutes on Tuesday. Over his last five playoff games, Love is averaging 22.8 points (.500 FG%, .929 FT%) and 11.2 rebounds while also shooting a playoff career-best .905 (38-42) from the foul line, which is the fourth-highest among all remaining players in the playoffs.
At the other end of the court, the formidable Celtics are earning a myriad of solid performances which has contributed to their two-game lead this series.
Big man Al Horford has been red-hot throughout the start of the East Finals, averaging 17.5 ppg on .565 shooting. In Game 2, specifically, Horford tallied a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds at the five-spot, while fellow starter, Jaylen Brown, has tallied two straight games with 23 points. Both scoring performances from Brown were game-highs while the shooting guard owns a field-goal percentage of .529.
Together as a team, the C’s displayed their well-rounded scoring effort on Tuesday with six players recording double-digit scoring efforts (Brown-23, Rozier-18, Horford-15, Morris-12, Tatum-11, Smart-11). Marcus Smart’s 11 points came of the bench in Boston’s Game 2 win.
Where to Catch the Action
FOX Sports Ohio: Before and after all Cavs playoffs games, FOX Sports Ohio will provide pre- and postgame coverage hosted by Jeff Phelps and Campy Russell that will include reporting and analysis from Fred McLeod, Austin Carr and Allie Clifton, with guest appearances from former Cavs coach Mike Fratello.
Radio: WTAM 1100, 100.7 WMMS, 87.7 La Mega
As Wine & Gold fans get geared up for a Game 3 showdown at The Q, they can burn some time by checking out some individual milestones that could be broken over the next few games.
From a league perspective, LeBron James (2,343 FGM) is just 14 field goals away from passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2,356 FGM) as the NBA’s all-time postseason leader in field goals made. With 21 more rebounds, James (2,042 REB) can also pass Karl Malone (2,062 REB) for the sixth-most in NBA postseason history.
Also, don’t forget that James (223 BLK) can pass Caldwell Jones (223 BLK) for sole possession of 17th all-time in career playoff blocks with his next swat. He has a chance to move all the way up to 15th with three more blocks (Rasheed Wallace/Robert Horry are tied for 15th w/225 BLK).
From a franchise perspective, Kevin Love (274 FGM) now ranks seventh on the Cavaliers’ all-time postseason field goals made list and can jump into fourth with 10 more baskets in this series (Brad Daugherty is sixth w/275 FGM, Mark Price is fifth w/280 FGM and Larry Nance is fourth w/283 FGM).
JR Smith (70 GP) can also tie Zydrunas Ilgauskas (71 GP) and Anderson Varejao (71 GP) for the second-most playoff games played in Cavs history.
Following Game 3’s showdown on Saturday, the Cavs and Celtics will meet again at The Q on Monday at 8:30 p.m. (ET) on ESPN for Game 4. If necessary, Game 5 will take place in Boston at TD Garden on Wednesday, May 23 and will also take place on ESPN at 8:30 p.m. (ET).