CLEVELAND — The Boston Celtics will seek to put another dagger into LeBron James and the Cavaliers’ hopes of making the NBA finals when they visit Cleveland for Game 3 in the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday night.
Live coverage will be on ESPN, starting at 8:30 pm ET, while WatchESPN will provide the live stream.
BOS leads 2-0
Game 2: BOS 107 CLE 94
Boston visits the Quicken Loans Arena this weekend with a 2-0 lead in the seven-game series and is confident about keeping the pressure on James and Co. as they seek to advance to the final for the third straight season.
According to ESPN stats and information, a total of 300 teams have taken 2-0 leads in best-of-seven series and only 19 of them have survived.
Another defeat on Saturday night would see the Cavs falling behind 0-3 in the series, but the three-time defending conference champions – who knocked off the Indiana Pacers in seven games and swept the No. 1 seed Toronto Raptors in the previous two rounds, isn’t panicking just yet.
“We’re down 0-2. No need to panic,” Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said. “I mean, we played a Game 7, so I mean, that’s the danger.
“The danger’s not like we come out and don’t play well tomorrow and lose, it’s over. We still have games to play.”
The Celtics are without their two best players in Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, but coach Brad Stevens has inserted a level of confidence in his young team that has them playing at a high-quality level.
The likes of Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier and rookie Jayson Tatum have been playing at a special level in the postseason and Stevens will be hoping his side can continue to press on.
“Like what happened in previous games, what happens in the future is all out the window,” he said. “It’s just about what happens in that 48-minute segment. Our guys know that.
“We’re going to have to play really hard. We’re going to have to play really connected.
“Obviously, with all they’ve accomplished over the last two years, they’ve been tremendous on the road and at home, but especially at home. It’ll be a heck of a challenge.”
LeBron James had a monster night with 42 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds in the Game 2 defeat in Boston, but even his top efforts weren’t good enough.
He got support from Kevin Love, but the likes of J.R. Smith, George Hill, Jeff Green, Tristan Thompson, and Kyle Korver will need to step up more.