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Celtics bounce back with Game 3 road win over Cavaliers

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Celtics bounce back with Game 3 road win over Cavaliers
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Google News Recentlyheard

CLEVELAND — Over the previous few seasons, three issues have been constant concerning the Boston Celtics’ deep playoff runs: They’ve performed lengthy sequence, they’ve struggled at residence, they usually’ve excelled on the highway.

It stays to be seen if the Celtics can change the primary two. However in Saturday’s Sport 3 in opposition to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Celtics ensured the third would proceed.

Behind a medical defensive effort and spectacular performances from stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the Celtics beat the Cavaliers 106-93 to take a 2-1 lead on this best-of-seven sequence.

“We have been simply attempting to get a win, understanding that we did not play in addition to we wished to in Sport 2,” Tatum stated. “And it was a terrific check and alternative for us to come back out and reply and play higher and play tougher and all these issues.”

Over the previous three seasons, Boston is 14-14 in 28 residence playoff video games, probably the most performed over a three-year span with out posting a successful report in NBA historical past, based on ESPN Stats & Info. Nevertheless, in these three seasons, the Celtics reached the NBA Finals in 2022 and the convention finals final season, and they’re favored to make a deep playoff run this 12 months largely as a result of they’ve gone 17-7 on the highway.

After a lackadaisical effort of their Sport 2 loss, one which included what Brown known as an “unacceptable” defensive efficiency, the Celtics ratcheted issues up at each ends Saturday to make sure one other highway victory — their fifth straight within the postseason, relationship again to final 12 months’s playoffs.

Tatum and Brown led the hassle, combining to attain 61 factors — 33 for Tatum and 28 for Brown — because the Celtics shot 51.2% from the sphere and went 13-for-34 (38.2%) from 3-point vary.

“I believe we simply want all people to be on the identical web page and all people to come back out with the correct effort,” Brown stated. “That is 85% of the battle proper there. We come out, we play onerous, after which we’re on the identical web page and the remainder will care for itself. We acquired sufficient expertise within the locker room to beat groups.

“But when we’re not on the identical web page and we’re not taking part in onerous, these are once we get ourselves in hassle. So ensuring, earlier than the sport at movie and shootaround, speaking to all people, touching all people, letting all people know that, ‘Hey, we’re not right here to mess around.’

“We did not come to Cleveland for the climate, so let’s go.”

That mindset was particularly evident in Boston’s defensive depth. Regardless of a spectacular 33-point efficiency from Donovan Mitchell, the Celtics largely managed the sport by clamping down on the remainder of Cleveland’s choices.

In addition to Mitchell and Evan Mobley, who had 17 factors however did not have the identical mobility after injuring his left foot/ankle within the third quarter, the remainder of the Cavaliers mixed for 43 factors on 17-for-51 taking pictures, together with 5-for-23 from 3-point vary.

“I simply assume we did not hit the identical pictures we did [in Game 2],” Mitchell stated. “For us, simply with the ability to end … we missed quite a lot of pictures on the rim, myself included, missed quite a lot of pictures that I believe we simply acquired to make. And likewise we did not actually shoot that nice from 3, however not a foul %, however we did not shoot that properly. So I believe these are various things and we acquired to get our seems and take them, as a result of if we do not, we’re driving again into the group they usually need us to. So with the ability to take our pictures, once they’re open.”

Now the Celtics want one other robust highway efficiency in Sport 4 with a view to return residence with an opportunity to shut this sequence out. Can they keep away from slipping up like they did in Sport 2 and giving Cleveland an opportunity to get again into it once more?

“It is the playoffs,” Brown stated. “Something can occur, particularly should you come out flat. We have got to do a greater job of that. We will not assume like this sequence goes to go like final sequence. We have got to come back out and have the identical defensive effort going into Sport 4, and that is simply the urgency we have to have.”

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