BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Celtics put up an admirable fight, but once again fell to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night.
The Celtics find themselves in an 0-2 series hole as things now shift to Boston for Game 3 on Thursday. But while he wasn’t feeling very confident in the Celtics following their Game 1 loss, 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Adam Jones feels a lot better about them taking a game in the series after their 99-91 loss in Game 2.READ MORE: Mother Accused Of Putting Baby In Trash Can Charged With Attempted Murder
“Tonight is the polar opposite [of what I felt Sunday]. I’m not telling you the Celtics will win the series, but for those of you who picked the Celtics to win a game or two games, or hell, maybe you picked them to win the series, you have to be much more encouraged,” said Jones. “Game 3 is going to be the game you’re going to catch Cleveland IF you’re going to catch Cleveland. You’re back at home, coming off a strong performance – not great – but a strong performance.”
Jones applauded the Celtics for not giving up following a 15-2 Cavaliers run in the third quarter, stretching their lead to 14 points. The Celtics cut that lead in half, trailing by seven at the end of three quarters, and were within a single possession at times during the fourth quarter.
But then LeBron James took over.
“It’s scary when LeBron takes over in the fourth,” said Jones, with James finishing the game with 30 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. “You didn’t see it for a game and a half; I thought at halftime that LeBron didn’t play well the first half. He had bad shots, threw the ball away and wasn’t hitting people in stride. I didn’t think he looked good in the first half, but that all changed in the fourth quarter.”
James and Kyrie Irving scored all 24 of Cleveland’s points in the fourth quarter, giving Cleveland a pair of closers who can hit that dagger shot at any time.READ MORE: Thieves Target Toyota Prius Catalytic Converters In Cambridge
“The Celtics have a closer as well in Isaiah Thomas, but he did not have a real strong floor game,” said Jones. “He was only 6-for-14 from the field and 0-for-3 from three-point range. He had seven assists, but when push came to shove, and we all know this, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving are better closers than Isaiah Thomas. That was on display in the fourth.”
While Rich Keefe was impressed with the way the Celtics have come out strong in the first quarter of each game, it’s been discouraging to watch the Cavaliers control the offensive glass when it matters most.
“That’s what has to be frustrating for [Brad] Stevens. You saw it time and again, whether it was [Avery] Bradley and [Marcus] Smart or the wing defenders; they would play well [defensively] for a possession but give up [an offensive rebound]. That has to be the most demoralizing thing – to play against super stars and have a good defensive stretch, but then give up an offensive rebound [to Tristan Thompson or Timofey Mozgov].
Thompson had zero points on no shot attempts, but had 11 rebounds in 26 minutes for Cleveland, including five offensive boards.
Jones and Keefe also discuss the Celtics coming out flat in the third quarters of Games 1 and 2, and wonder if that falls on head coach Brad Stevens: