#CavsCeltics Game 3 Preview – May 21, 2017

Game Summary

The defending NBA Champion Cavaliers look to take a 3-0 series lead when they host the Boston Celtics for Game 3 on Sunday night. Tipoff from Quicken Loans Arena is at 8:30 p.m. (ET).

With Friday’s 130-86 victory in Game 2, the Cavaliers have won an NBA record-record tying 13 consecutive postseason games dating back to Game 5 of last year’s NBA Finals (L.A. Lakers also had 13 straight playoff wins from 1988-1989). (Elias Sports Bureau)

In Friday’s victory, the Cavaliers led by as many as 50 points and posted a wire-to-wire victory for the second game in a row. The Cavs set franchise playoff records in points (130) and margin of victory (+44). The 44-point win was also the largest in Eastern Conference Finals history, the Celtics biggest home loss in their postseason history and biggest defeat over a No. 1 seed. Cleveland led by 41 points at halftime (72-31), which was the biggest lead at halftime in NBA Playoff history. (Elias Sports Bureau)

Needless to say, the Wine and Gold have been hitting on all cylinders this postseason. Cleveland is putting up a franchise-playoff record 116.3 points per game this postseason (2nd-best in 2017 Playoffs), while leading all NBA playoff teams in field goal percentage (.497), three-point percentage (.433), offensive rating (119.4) and three-pointers made per game (14.5).

Boston travels to The Land hoping to climb back into the series but that task becomes tougher with their All-Star floor general, Isaiah Thomas unable to go in Game 3. Thomas had been suffering through a strained right hip injury and has been ruled out for the remainder of the postseason.

Including this postseason at home (4-0), the Cavs have won 13 of the last 14 playoff games at Quicken Loans Arena.

Cleveland has never lost a series when leading 2-0 (14-0). They also hold a 9-0 series record when going up 3-0.

Where to Catch the Action


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

#36 Marcus Smart

#0 – Avery Bradley

#99 – Jae Crowder

#30 – Gerald Green

#42 – Al Horford

Status Update: (Cavs) – Edy Tavares (Right Hand Fracture, Out)

Status Update: (Celtics) – Isaiah Thomas (Strained Right Hip, Out)

*Subject to change.

Fan Guide

Series Stats

LeBron James is the first NBA player to have eight straight games with at least 30 points in single postseason since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had nine in a row during the 1970 Playoffs. In Game 2, James tallied 30 points on 12-18 (.667) shooting, including 4-6 (.667) from long range, four rebounds, seven assists, four steals and three blocks in 33 minutes. James passed Michael Jordan (376 STL) for the 2nd-most steals in NBA Playoff history with his fourth swipe of the night. His plus/minus of +46 was his highest for any game of his career (regular and post). (Elias Sports Bureau)

Kyrie Irving became just the 2nd Cavs player to ever score 1,000 career playoff points with his 22nd point in Game 2. He finished with 23 points on 8-11 (.727) shooting, including 3-6 (.500) from deep, three assists, one steal and one block in 30 minutes.

Kevin Love recorded his second double-double of this series with 21 points on 7-14 (.500) shooting, including 4-9 (.444) from three-point range, a game-high 12 rebounds, two assists and a steal in 27 minutes. In five contests against the Celtics this season (regular season and postseason), Love is averaging 24.8 points and 12.6 rebounds in 32.0 minutes, while also shooting .447 (21-47) mark from deep and .912 (31-34) from the charity stripe.

On Deck

The series continues in The Land for Games 4 on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. If the series goes on beyond that point, it’s Thursday back in Boston for Game 5, Saturday at The Q for Game 6 and next Monday night in Boston if it goes seven.

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