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

Tyronn Lue: Cleveland Cavaliers must avoid 'falling in love with the three'

Tyronn Lue: Cleveland Cavaliers must avoid 'falling in love with the three'

After blowing a 21-point 3rd quarter lead, the Cleveland Cavaliers eventually lost on a 3-point bomb by Avery Bradley at the buzzer, making LeBron's 4-of-13 shooting, 11-point performance all the more disappointing.

In the aftermath of Sunday's Game 3 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics players initiated a video call with injured teammate Isaiah Thomas from the visitors locker room at Quicken Loans Arena so that Thomas could be a part of the team's celebration.

The defending National Basketball Association champions, who shot 71 percent in the second half, opened a 3-1 lead in the series and can wrap up their third straight conference title - and a "three-match" against the Warriors - with a win in Game 5 on Thursday night in Boston.

If you said the Celtics were going to beat the Cavs in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals, it would have been hard to believe.

"(The Celtics are), like I told you guys before, it's like we're preparing for a whole new team", Lue told Cleveland.com's Joe Vardon. But Kevin (Love, 28 points) and Kyrie (Irving, 29 points) had it going early and they played well, so it kind of got him out of rhythm a little bit in that first half. He capped his blistering 19-point outburst with a three in the final second of the quarter and celebrated at midcourt by pretending to put two pistols back in his holster.

"We just have to realize it's a long game".

"If we defend, then we're always going to give ourselves a good chance to win", LeBron James said.

The Cavaliers dropped to 10-1 in the post-season with their first loss since game four of last year's finals against Golden State.

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He's the best player in the game. They just came out cool, dancing in the warmups.

The 21-point comeback is the largest one surrendered by James in his playoff career. Of the four remaining National Basketball Association playoff teams, Cleveland has the most rotation players over 30 years old.

Marcus Smart, a notoriously poor 3-point shooter, was 7 of 10 from behind the arc in Game 3 when the Celtics stunned the Cavs, 111-108.

And it was an uncharacteristically passive performance by James, who had scored at least 30 in eight straight playoff games and imposed his will on the overmatched Celtics in the series first two games. Even when they got good shots, they couldn't finish them, which needs to happen for a team with championship aspirations. "We had opportunities. It is what it is". Oh yeah, we say the guy is a "so-called fan" 'cause when have you ever heard of a real fan heckling his team's star player? "So we've got to be a lot better, for sure".Leave it to James to find a bright side to what was an bad night.

With the Celtics suddenly challenging the Cavs after Cleveland won Games 1 and 2 by a combined 57 points, Lue was asked if Boston might be better without Thomas, its All-Star and face of the franchise.

Lue said James was “in good spirits” and that no one was pinning the loss on him.

"I'm going to have to look at the film and see but we felt like we were right there, Irving just kinda took it to another level", added Horford.

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