Published: Thu, May 25, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Celtics were upset with talk focusing on Isaiah Thomas

Celtics were upset with talk focusing on Isaiah Thomas

James had just 11 points, of which only three came in the second half as he went 1-of-9 shooting and had an unusual vanishing act when his team needed him. Cleveland dominated the Celtics so thoroughly in the first two games that not many gave Boston a chance on Sunday, especially without Thomas in the line-up.

A lot of LeBron's shortcomings in Game 3 seem to be mental. It was just the second time in his playoff career he played the entire fourth quarter and failed to score, the last time being that infamous eight-point game in 2011. What in the name of Red Auerbach happened?

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said James is "human so he's going to have a night like this". On Friday, the Cavs embarrassed Boston on their home floor, 130-86, setting a league record for the largest halftime lead in a postseason game: 41 points.

The Celtics' heritage is championship basketball, back to the days when they won 11 NBA titles in 13 years behind Bill Russell. He passed up shots and made mental and physical mistakes normally reserved for others.

Cleveland continued their laid-back dominance in the second quarter with their three-point barrage still clicking on all cylinders.

Incredibly, he went scoreless over the final 16 minutes. If you didn't see the game (I did), you'll just have to take my word for it.

However, Stevens liked his team's energy leading up to tipoff and felt confident they would play hard. What do you want me to say?

Game Four of the Eastern Conference finals is tomorrow. It's not enough, for him, for what he does, for what he brings. "[In Game 3] we came out and we did that".

"You couldn't get into a rhythm tonight based on their defense or just not feeling it, or what?" he asked. After Boston bounced back in Game 3, LeBron is bound for some revenge in Game 4.

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It wasn't long ago that Cleveland seemingly had major question marks after sputtering down the stretch and losing the No. 1 seed to Boston.

"I mean, Shump (Iman Shumpert) called switch", Smith said. You always come around when we lose.

Thomas didn't travel with the Celtics, staying in Boston so he can visit hip specialists. "But I'm glad it kind of hurt, that it happened the way it did - let our foot off the gas a little bit, didn't keep the pressure on them like we have been accustomed to".

We've got to be a lot better.

Marcus Smart scored 27 points, and Bradley had 20 for the Celtics. But Celtics' fans will understand why the team must trade its most famous and popular player if they are to hang another banner at the Garden.

Love's pass barely grazed the tips of Celtics forward Marcus Smart's fingers as it fell into the waiting hands of James under the Cleveland basket. This wasn't a season-ender, but but he was so out of sorts last night. Imagine looking the best basketball player in the world dead in the eye and trying to compare your work at a Division III school to his performance in the NBA Playoffs. Usually, he hangs around to work on his game, but on this day No. 23 wasn't visible.

Letting fans get to him, calling out reporters - it's safe to say that James was in unfamiliar territory after a disappointing Cleveland loss.

"You let a team like that grab momentum you nearly knew a shot like that was going in".

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