got within four points
Home-court advantage has proven to be a valuable commodity for the Celtics so far this postseason.
Boston is 9-0 at TD Garden during these playoffs and has blistered opponents early in games Da'Norris Searcy Jersey , shooting 47 percent from the field and 39 percent from the 3-point line. It’s often led to cushions that have helped the Celtics sustain opponents’ runs in the second half.
But after boasting the third-best road record in the NBA during the regular season, the Celtics have looked like a totally different team since the postseason began. They are just 1-4 away from their building and seen their shooting numbers dip to 41 percent overall and 31 percent from beyond the arc.
That can’t persist if Boston is going to have success as the series shifts to Cleveland on Saturday.
Marcus Smart, who was all over the court in the Celtics’ Game 2 win , didn’t take any offense to Cavs coach Tyronn Lue’s comment that the Celtics have ”shown they haven’t played that well on the road.”
”We haven’t played well. We know that and understand that,” Smart said. ”We understand that other teams see that and try to exploit it. But that’s the beauty about this game. It just takes one game. You never know. Things change. Our confidence is high. Who knows?”
Coach Brad Stevens said he thought the entire team seemed a little ”shell-shocked” at Milwaukee in the first round, when after taking a 2-0 series lead, was promptly blown out 116-92 in Game 3. It lost all three road games in that series.
”We took a punch in the mouth right when guys came out and they surprised us a little bit Authentic Baker Mayfield Jersey ,” Smart said. ”We can’t afford to be surprised this time around. … We’re just trying to make it as hard as we can on those guys for them to win a game and for us to execute whatever plan Brad has for us.”
That will be easier said than done against a Cavaliers team that got 42 points and near triple-double by LeBron James in Tuesday’s loss.
Pressure will certainly be on the Cavs, but they have history on their side. James has won at least one playoff road game in 31 of his last 32 playoff series. To have a chance to make it 32 out of 33, Cleveland would need to win one of the next two games at home to force a Game 5.
That’s not out of their reach by any means.
Stevens isn’t sure Cleveland has yet to play up to its full potential.
”I don’t know if that was their best,” he said. ”We’ve all seen them play at an elite level for a long time. … At the end of the day they’ve got a lot of guys that have been there, done that. And we’re expecting that every game we’re going to have to play better to have a chance to win.”
One of the reasons that the Celtics have had success against the Cavs so far is their willingness to challenge James defensively.
Jaylen Brown has been one of several players tasked with guarding James. He also drew that duty at times in last year’s conference finals. He said he is no longer intimidated by the matchup .
”And why should I? Brown said. ”The stage is set for all of us to do something spectacular. LeBron has been to the finals (seven) straight times. He’s a great player. But we want to win and we want to beat a team that does win and get to the finals.
”We got a bunch of young guys trying to make names for themselves in this league. Why not come out and play hard? Everybody says we’re playing with house money anyway. So why not come out with the energy level that we need and try to do something special?”
The rebuilding Brooklyn Nets have finally started to click over the season’s final month.
Allen Crabbe is hoping it’ll carry over to next season.
Crabbe scored 20 of his career-high 41 points in the first quarter and the Nets beat the Chicago Bulls 114-105 on Monday night for their first three-game winning streak this season.
The Nets have won seven of 12 games since March 17 after dropping 18 of 21.
”Things are maybe turning that corner that we wanted to get a little early in the season, but it’s better late than never,” said Crabbe Will Dissly Color Rush Jersey , who struggled at the beginning of the season before finding his 3-point stroke. He has a franchise-record 188 3-pointers in his first season with Brooklyn.
D’Angelo Russell had 21 points and 11 assists, and Spencer Dinwiddie scored 20 points for the Nets, who had not won three straight since April 1-4, 2017.
The Nets swept the three-game season series from Chicago for the first time since the 2004-05 season. Brooklyn assisted on 32 of its 41 baskets.
”I try to pass the ball to whoever’s open,” said Russell, who also had six rebounds. ”Coach gives me that freedom. The more I’m here, the more the trust will slowly elevate but we got shot-makers around here.”
Former Net Sean Kilpatrick was one of seven players for the Bulls to score in double figures Jets Clive Walford Jersey , tallying 16 points. Cameron Payne had 15 for Chicago, which has lost its last three games.
Rookie Lauri Markkanen added 10 points and six rebounds to reach 500 boards this season. He’s the first Bulls rookie to since Elton Brand to eclipse the 1,000-point, 500-rebound mark.
”I take a lot of pride. I basically try to do basically as much as I can in rebounding,” Markkanen said. ”I think it feels pretty cool to accomplish that, but I’m not satisfied.”
Brooklyn hit 18 3-pointers in its first game since falling one shy of the NBA record with 24 in a rout of Chicago on Saturday.
Crabbe celebrated his 26th birthday by going 8 of 11 from deep Monday. He scored 14 straight points during his first quarter outburst and finished the first half with 29 points, including 6 of 6 from deep. The Nets led 62-55 at the break.
During his last three games Redskins Troy Apke Jersey , Crabbe has made 18 3-pointers and averaged 28.7 points.
”I shook his hand after the game and it was still hot, still cooking,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. ”He’s really finishing the season the way we’re asking the team to finish, on a strong night.”
The Nets led by 11 points during the third quarter before the Bulls cut the lead to three on Kilpatrick’s 3-pointer with five seconds left.
Chicago got within four points on Kilpatrick’s basket with 4:14 left in the fourth quarter, forcing the Nets to call a timeout.
Russell then hit a jumper at the elbow over Kilpatrick to start 6-0 run capped by his driving layup with 1:36 to play. That extended the lead to 112-102.
Bulls: Markkanen made a pair of 3-pointers. The 20-year-old from Finland is two shy of tying Kirk Hinrich’s franchise rookie record of 144 set during the 2003-04 season. … David Nwaba had 11 points and 10 rebounds
Nets: Forwards Joe Harris (sprained left ankle) and Caris LeVert (right foot tendinitis) were held out. DeMarre Carroll was also a scratch due to a left hip strain.
Bulls: Conclude the season at home Wednesday night against Detroit.
Nets: Close out their season at Boston on Wednesday night.
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