East Conf. Finals - Game 3: Boston Celtics 86-116 Cleveland Cavaliers - 5 Talking Points
The Cleveland Cavaliers welcomed the Boston Celtics to the Quicken Loans Arena with a rude awakening as to the size of the task at their hand. In a game where they won all 4 quarters by a margin of 4 points or more, the seasoned veterans in the Cavs' setup displayed their expertise at turning the onus up, as all five of their starters along with Kyle Korver finished in double digits on the offensive end.
The Celtics, on the other hand, continued their trend of underperforming in road games. They now have a 1-4 win-loss record in the playoffs on the road. They came into this game averaging a paltry 94.5 points per game in road games, and that average dipped significantly in this 86-point outing.
The Cs failed to get going on either end of the floor. Unlike Game 1 and 2 when they stymied Cleveland defensively with spells of scoreless basketball, they were unable to get multiple consecutive stops to coincide with good offensive possessions in succession.
The following are 5 talking points from the game:
#5 Jaylen Brown puts in an underwhelming performance
The sophomore came into this game averaging 17.8 points per game through 13 postseason outings. That average fell to 17.3 after a game when he was unable to find his way around the hoop, getting up only 8 shot attempts while connecting on just 3 of them. He was unable to draw fouls either, and he looked clearly below his best self on the offensive end.
At the other end, Brown did an acceptable job of covering LeBron James during the first half. He went into the locker room at halftime with 2 personal fouls on his name. He'd earned these fouls by the 7:13 mark of the first period, but he negotiated his way through the second quarter without another foul to his name.
It was at the start of the 3rd quarter that he picked up 2 fouls with just 3 minutes played. This caused coach Stevens to bring him off the floor and prevented him from getting into a rhythm during a crucial phase of the game when the Celtics could have staged a comeback.
He earned a 5th call with a needless gamble trying to double LeBron in the elbow region, capping off a forgettable night.