After sweeping through the first two rounds, the defending NBA Champion Cavaliers are back in the Eastern Conference Finals to square off against the Boston Celtics. Tipoff in Game 1 on Wednesday from TD Garden is at 8:30 p.m. (ET).
The Wine and Gold enter the East Finals for the third straight season and seventh time overall (1976, 1992, 2007, 2009, 2015, 2016, 2017).
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The Cavaliers (8-0 in 2017 Playoffs) are the first team in NBA history to start 8-0 in consecutive playoffs. Last year, Cleveland won its first 10 playoff games en route to their first ever NBA title and finished with a 16-5 postseason record. Since Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals, the Cavaliers have won a franchise-record 11 straight postseason games. (Elias Sports Bureau)
Going back to the 2015 postseason, the Cavs hold a 32-4 playoff record against Eastern Conference opponents (15-3 mark on the road over that span).
In the Semifinals win over Toronto, the Cavs won by an average margin of 15.3 points (116.3-101.0) and made at least 13 three-pointers in all four games.
Boston fought their way into the Conference Finals by knocking off the Chicago Bulls in six games during the First Round and defeating the Washington Wizards in Game 7 in Boston on Monday night.
The Celtics are led by their feisty floor general, Isaiah Thomas. The fifth-year pro from Washington enters play on Wednesday averaging team-highs is both points (25.4 ppg) and assists (6.5 apg) this postseason.
This is the seventh postseason meeting between the Cavs and Celtics, and just the second time the two teams have met in the conference finals (1976).
Where to Catch the Action
TV: NBA on TNT
Radio: WTAM 1100, 100.7 WMMS, 87.7 La Mega
Programming Note: On Thursday, FOX Sports Ohio is carrying the Reds-Orioles game (7:00 p.m.), Blue Jackets–Penguins playoff game (7:00 p.m.), and the Cavs–Pacers game (7:00 p.m.). To view TV listings, CLICK HERE.–>
For live in-game updates, follow @cavs, @CavsJoeG, @CavsFredMcLeod, @MrCavalier34, @CavsJMike, @ElalcaldeRafa and @chones22 on Twitter.
Probable Starters/Status Update*
#2 – Kyrie Irving
#5 – J.R. Smith
#23 – LeBron James
#0 – Kevin Love
#13 – Tristan Thompson
#4 Isaiah Thomas
#0 – Avery Bradley
#99 – Jae Crowder
#90 – Amir Johnson
#42 – Al Horford
Status Update: (Cavs) – Edy Tavares (Right Hand Fracture, Out)
Status Update: (Celtics) – None to Report
*Subject to change.
During the 2016-17 regular season, Cleveland won three of the four matchups against the Boston Celtics, averaging 122.0 points in the three victories.
November 3 at The Q – Cavs 128, Celtics 122: After Boston cut the Cavs’ lead to six (115-109) with 3:16 remaining, Cleveland reeled off four straight points, all free throws by LeBron James and Kevin Love, to balloon their lead back to double-digits. LeBron notched his second straight double-double with 30 points (20 in the 3rd Q) on 12-22 (.545) shooting, a team-high 12 assists and seven rebounds. Love tallied 26 points (11 in the 4th Q), shot 4-8 (.500) three pointers and 12-13 (.923) free throws, and eight rebounds. Kyrie Irving finished with 23 points on 9-18 (.500) shooting from the field, six assists and four rebounds.
December 29 at The Q – Cavs 124, Celtics 118: With Cleveland holding a two-point lead (120-118) late in the game, Richard Jefferson grabbed a huge defensive rebound after a missed three-point attempt by Jae Crowder and made two key free throws to seal the victory for the Cavs. Irving notched his fifth double-double in his last seven games with a game-high 32 points on 12-17 (.706) shooting, five rebounds, a game-high 12 assists and a team-best three steals. Kevin Love tallied his second straight and team-high 19th double-double of the season with 30 points (15 in 1st Q), a game-high 15 rebounds and two steals. LeBron posted his 14th double-double of the season with 23 points on 9-18 (.500) shooting, eight rebounds, 11 assists and a team-high three blocks.
March 1 at TD Garden – Cavs 99, Celtics 103: Boston made four free throws down the stretch to seal the victory. LeBron recorded his 7th triple-double of the season (49th of career) with 28 points, a 3-6 (.500) clip from beyond the arc, a game-high tying 13 rebounds and a game-high tying 10 assists. Kyrie posted 28 points on 10-19 (.526) shooting, two rebounds, a steal and a block. Tristan Thompson had a near double-double with nine points and a game-high tying 13 rebounds (six offensive)
April 5 at TD Garden – Cavs 114, Celtics 91: After trailing 20-19 after one, Cleveland opened up the second quarter on a 22-4 run to go up 41-24 and never looked back. LeBron posted his 41st double-double of the season with a game-high 36 points on 14-22 (.636) shooting, a perfect 7-7 mark from the foul line, 10 rebounds, a game-high tying six assists and two blocks. Love recorded his 38th double-double of the season with 15 points and a game-high 16 rebounds.
The series continues in Beantown on Friday night for Game 2 before shifting back to The Land for Games 3 and 4 on Sunday and Tuesday.
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