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Boston was quickly up 4-0 to start the game, but after that it was all Cleveland. The Celtics lost game three in the second round of the playoffs tonight. Cleveland embarrassed the Celtics by beating them 108-84. The struggles on the road in the playoffs continued tonight for the Celtics, who were the best road team in the NBA during the regular season. However, winning on the road during the regular season and the playoffs are two completely different atmospheres, and it seems that the Celtics are severely affected by the distinction.
Lebron James had a much better game than his past two at Boston, although he did still struggle from the floor a bit. James still ended up with 21 points, 5 rebounds, 3 blocks, 8 assists, and 4 steals. James got help from Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Delonte West, Wally Szczerbiak, and Joe Smith. Ilgauskas had 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 Assists. West and Szczerbiak added 21 points and 16 points respectively, and Joe Smith off the bench added 17 points. The Cavs took the early lead, going up by double figures early in the first quarter and never letting up. The Celtics were never able to come back any closer than 12 points.
The other team that played? The Boston Celtics? The NBA’s best road team in the regular season by going 31-10? No, that could not have been them out on the floor, but sadly it was. The Celtics had difficulty in this game the whole time. They could not keep up in points, rebounding, or any method of defense the Cavs put on them. Nothing seemed to go right from the get go, and although they made a few little runs in the second half, it was to no avail. Kevin Garnett lead the Celtics with 17 points and 9 rebounds. Paul Pierce added 14, Ray Allen had 10, Kendrick Perkins had 12 points and 7 rebounds, and James Posey had 11 off the bench. Rajon Rondo had a lot of difficulty in this one and just never seemed to find his groove in the game, which partly led to his only seven points in the game.
This game was hopefully not a display of the kind of game the Celtics will again play on Monday in Cleveland. They need to play as dominantly on the road as they do at home. This first game does not have me worried yet because they are still up two games to one. The goal was to at least come into to Cleveland and split the two games and hopefully advance after winning in game 5. The Celtics need to find that key component they have at home and use it on the road though. If the Celtics cannot do this and cannot win a game on the road, then I do not see them advancing as far as they are projected for the rest of the playoffs. Game four will can show us all that the Celtics have the ability to win a game on the road in the playoffs, and bring the anxiety level in Boston down.
Tags: Ben Wallace, Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Delonte West, James Posey, Joe Smith, Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett, LeBron James, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Wally Szczerbiak, Zydrunas Ilgauskas