Post Up: Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers Take 3-0 Lead in Eastern Semis

by May 05, 2018
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Celtics 101, 76ers 98 (BOS leads 3-0)

The 76ers returned home to a rambunctious Philadelphia crowd, but a flurry of mistakes in crunch time ultimately kept them from cutting into the Celtics’ series lead.

Ben Simmons missed an open dunk with 5:13 to go with the game tied and J.J. Redick threw an errant pass with 5 seconds to go that led to a Jaylen Brown layup that kept the 76ers from scoring a potential go-ahead bucket. Marco Belinelli nailed a desperate fadeaway as regulation expired to send the game to overtime, giving Philadelphia a second chance to regain the lead.

The operations crew at the Wells Fargo Center initially thought Belinelli’s shot was a 3-pointer and a downpour of confetti delayed the start of overtime.

Al Horford nixed the 76ers’ hopes in the extra period, though, giving the Celtics a go-ahead bucket with 5.5 seconds to go and following up with the game-securing steal 1.4 seconds later. Horford finished the night with 13 points, six rebounds, two steals and three blocks.

Rookie phenom Jayson Tatum was the most valuable player on the court, leading all players in points (24) and plus-minus (+24) on an efficient 11-for-17 shooting performance.

Joel Embiid finished with 22 points and 19 rebounds, but shot only 38.5 percent from the field. Ben Simmons was able to bounce back from his 1-point outing in game two, scoring 16 points to go alongside his eight rebounds and eight assists.

Cavaliers 105, Raptors 103 (CLE leads 3-0)

The Eastern Conference Semifinals returned back to Cleveland and the King didn’t disappoint in front of his kingdom.

The Cavaliers gave up a 17-point lead after O.G. Anunoby tied things up with eight seconds to go, but LeBron JamesΒ responded right back by going coast-to-coast and banking in an off-balance floater as time expired.

James finished the night with 38 points, six rebounds, seven assists and three steals.

Kevin Love continued his hot streak, leading all players with a +20 plus-minus en route to 21 points and 16 rebounds.

Kyle Lowry led the Raptors with 27 points on 9-for-13 shooting, but his sidekick DeMar DeRozan stayed on the pine as Toronto scored 38 points in the final period to make up the hefty deficit. DeRozan struggled from the field, shooting just 3-for-12 from the field in his 28 minutes on the court.