Celtics take 2-1 lead on Cavs

Jayson Tatum recorded 33 points, 13 rebounds and six assists and the Boston Celtics regained the lead in their Eastern Conference second-round playoff series with a 106-93 victory over the host Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night.

Jaylen Brown scored 28 points on 13-of-17 shooting and collected nine rebounds as top-seeded Boston took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Jrue Holiday added 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists and Derrick White had 12 points for the Celtics.

Boston had coughed up homecourt advantage with a 118-94 loss in Game 2 on Thursday before responding emphatically on Saturday.

“We just wanted to bounce back. Disappointing loss the other night and coming into a hostile environment on the road. Our backs were against the wall,” Tatum said. “This was a good test for us to see how we respond and we were up to the challenge.”

Donovan Mitchell made seven 3-pointers and scored 33 points for the fourth-seeded Cavaliers. Evan Mobley had 17 points and eight rebounds, while Caris LeVert and Darius Garland scored 15 points apiece for Cleveland.

Game 4 is at Cleveland.

The Cavaliers were without big man Jarrett Allen (ribs) for the sixth straight game. Kristaps Porzingis (calf) missed his fourth straight game for the Celtics.

Boston shot 51.2 percent from the field, including 13 of 34 from 3-point range. Cleveland connected on 42.9 percent of its shots and was 12 of 36 from behind the arc.

“We can do a better job defensively and that’s with holding them to 106 (points),” Mitchell said. “But at the end of the day, we didn’t score. We didn’t score when we needed to or respond back. We’ll be better. It’s not going to be easy.”

The Cavaliers trailed by 15 points before scoring the first six points of the final quarter. Mobley capped the run with back-to-back buckets down low to bring Cleveland within 84-75 with 10:29 remaining.

Payton Pritchard and White nailed 3-pointers over the next few minutes as Boston pushed its lead to 94-81 with 6:58 remaining.

After a three-point play by Mitchell, Brown and White scored to give the Celtics a 98-84 advantage with 5:42 left.

Tatum’s fallaway baseline jumper over Max Strus made it 104-89 with 2:14 left, and Boston closed it out. – Field Level Media

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *