The Cavaliers look to bring their Eastern Conference Finals series with the Boston Celtics back to even this Monday night as both teams gear up for Game 4. Tipoff from The Q is set for 8:30 p.m. (ET).
On Saturday, the Wine & Gold were able to narrow their ECF series deficit with Boston to 2-1 after a 30-point home win (116-86) over the Celtics in Game 3 at The Q.
With their lopsided hometown victory, the Cavaliers are now 6-1 in The Land during the 2018 Playoffs, winning six-straight games at The Q and outscoring opponents by an average of 12.9 points (108.7-95.8) over that stretch while shooting .488 from the field, .397 from beyond the arc and .811 from the foul line.
The Wine & Gold have not allowed more than 100 points in five of their seven home games this postseason. In Game 3, the Cavs held the Celtics to a 2018 postseason low in points (86) and FG% (.392), while also allowing just a .273 (6-22) mark from three-point range. Cleveland has yet to have an opponent shoot at least .400 from beyond the arc at The Q in this year’s playoffs.
Against Boston, specifically, Cleveland holds a 14-6 all-time home record versus Boston in the playoffs (8-3 at The Q). They have also won nine of their last 12 home games against the Celtics dating back to the 2014-15 season (regular and postseason).
For the Cavaliers, Game 3 was a microcosm of their home success during the 2018 Playoffs. In fact, a 2018 Playoff-high six Cavs players scored in double-digits during the Game 3 victory: LeBron James (27), Kyle Korver (14), Kevin Love (13), George Hill (13), J.R. Smith (11) and Tristan Thompson (10).
Another big reason why the Cavaliers were so dominant in Game 3 was their success from behind the arc. In fact, the Wine & Gold shot 17-34 (.500) from beyond the arc in Game 3, their most three-pointers and highest 3FG% in the 2018 Playoffs. The Wine & Gold also improved to 13-1 all-time when connecting on 15 or more three-pointers in postseason play.
Cleveland also was excellent from the charity stripe recently, shooting at least .800 from the foul line in four of their last five games, including Game 3 against Boston (.833, 25-30).
In terms of individual performances, once again, LeBron James stood out among the flock. James tallied a game-high 27 points (8-12 FG, 3-3 3FG, 8-10 FT), a game-high 12 assists, five rebounds, two steals and two blocks in 38 minutes in the Game 3 victory. He also leads all NBA players with 10 double-doubles this postseason.
LBJ’s fellow forward, Kevin Love, also had a solid night from the floor, notching his fifth double-double of the 2018 playoffs (13 PTS, 14 REB, 4 AST, 1 STL, 30 MIN). Over the last six games, Love has four double-doubles and is averaging 21.2 points, 11.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 33.3 minutes (since 5/3/18).
Coming off the bench, Kyle Korver was the definition of the word “excellent.” After a perfect shooting night in Game 3 (14 PTS, 5-5 FG, 4-4 3FG, 20 MIN), the sharpshooter from Creighton is averaging 12.6 points on .582 (32-55) shooting from the field, including .538 (21-39) from three-point territory, and 2.6 rebounds in 27.3 minutes over the last seven contests (since May 1).
At the other end of the court, the Boston Celtics couldn’t find a way to get any sort of run going against the red-hot Cavaliers. In fact, only three starting players tallied double-digits (Tatum-18, Rozier-13, Brown-10). The Celtics’ reserves didn’t fare much better either after only Greg Monroe led his fellow bench players with 10 points in garbage time.
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 4 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 (2,351 FGM) is just six field goals away from passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2,356 FGM) as the NBA’s all-time postseason leader in field goals made. James (225 BLK) can also move into sole possession of 15th place in career playoff blocks with one swat tonight, passing Rasheed Wallace and Robert Horry (both w/225 BLK). In terms of rebounds, LBJ needs just 16 more boards, (2,047 REB) to pass Karl Malone (2,062 REB) for the sixth-most in NBA postseason history.
In terms of franchise history, Kevin Love (278 FGM) ranks sixth on the Cavaliers all-time postseason field goals made list and can jump into fourth place with six more baskets in this series (Mark Price is fifth w/280 FGM and Larry Nance is fourth w/283 FGM).
Finally, with an appearance on Monday night in Game 3, JR Smith (71 GP) can pass Zydrunas Ilgauskas (71 GP) and Anderson Varejao (71 GP) for the second-most playoff games played in Cavs history.
Following Game 4’s showdown on Saturday, the Cavs and Celtics will head back to Boston on Wednesday night for an 8:30 p.m. Game 5 tipoff on ESPN. If necessary, the two clubs will return to Cleveland on Friday, May 25 for Game 6. Tipoff for that matchup is also set for 8:30 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.