Thursday, June 9, 2016

NBA Finals ~ Game 3 ~ June 8, 2016

The Boys are Back in Town

Clearly home court is a telling advantage in this series and if I do my math right, the Cavs will lose this series if they don't prove that advantage least once.

I can't begin to tell you how irritable and sad I was after Game Two. Monday was depressing and I wasn't alone. My mood improved on Tuesday and by Wednesday morning, I was back to where I wanted to be and I was excited and confidant for Game Three.

Sean and I attended the game together, so Kevin joined us downtown for a pre-game drink. 

We learned prior to the game that the Cavs would be without Kevin Love due to a concussion suffered during Game Two. We weren't rattled. He hasn't been performing well vs. the Warriors and his defense is borderline terrible, so 35-year-old Richard Jefferson would take his spot in the starting line-up.

Cleveland started out strong by scoring the first nine points of the game and led by as many as 20 in the first. LeBron made all four of his shots and was playing with the finesse and aggression that makes him one of the greatest in the world. Kyrie Irving shot 7-9 and scored as many points as the entire Warriors team (16). The Cavs were up 33-16 at the end of the quarter and were looking pretty good.

The Warriors are a team capable of scoring a lot of points in just a few minutes, so we were never really relaxed. After a 16 point first quarter, Golden State climbed to within 7 points (48-41) with 1:51 left in the second quarter and outscored the home team 27-18 to enter halftime with the Cavs up 51-43.

The Cavs continued their domination in the second half and let the point differential climb. Cleveland's starters scored all 38 of the Cavs' third quarter points led by LeBron's 13 points on 5-6 FG and J.R. Smith's 9 points on 3-3 FG and entered the final stanza up 89-69.

Despite both teams clearing their benches in the fourth quarter, the Cavs bench continued to play with confidence and outscored GSW 31-21 to chalk up the 130-90 victory.

Cleveland outrebounded Golden State 52-32 and shot 53% from the field, including 48% from three. Kyrie Irving bounced back after two lackluster performances and J.R. Smith peaked at just the right time. The Cavs were led by their new big three of James, Irving and Smith who scored 82 of the team's 120 points while the league's MVP was a non-factor with 19 points on 6-13 shooting. 

The Cavs improved to 8-0 at home in the Playoffs with an average margin of victory of 22 points. They can even the series with a Game Four win at home on Friday. 

13 Down...3 to Go

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