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Paul Pierce/Kendrick Perkins press conference 05.07.10 at 11:16 pm ET
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Paul Pierce and Kendrick Perkins speak to the media after suffering an embarrassing 124-95 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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Doc Rivers press conference 05.07.10 at 11:10 pm ET
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Doc Rivers speaks to the media following the Celtics 124-95 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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Fast Break: Celtics – Cavs 05.07.10 at 9:41 pm ET
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Final Score: Cavaliers 124,  Celtics 95

After a momentum building win in Game 2, the Celtics were crushed, 124-95 , by the Cavaliers on Friday in Boston. The Celtics never led and got down 6-0 early on. It was just the beginning of an offensive attack by the Cavaliers, who shot 59.5 percent from the field and 31-for-34 from the free throw line.

Defensively, the Celtics were ineffective on the glass. They were outrebounded, 45-30 (Antawn Jamison nabbed 12 boards). As a result, they were outscored 50-32 in the paint.

Player of the game: LeBron James led all players with 38 points (14/22 FG, 2/3 3PG, 8/9 FT), eight rebounds, and seven assists. He scored 21 points in the first quarter alone to set the tone early on.

Turning point: With the score Cavs 10, Celtics 8, Kendrick Perkins committed a flagrant foul against James five minutes into the first quarter. The Cavs then went on a 10-0 run (eight points from James) to build a lead they never surrendered.

First Quarter: Cavaliers 36, Celtics 17

James scored 21 points in the first quarter, four more than the entire Celtics team combined, to give the Cavs a 19-point lead. But James wasn’€™t the only problem for the Celtics early on. The C’€™s were outrebounded, 15-5. None of the starters grabbed more than one board, while Antawn Jamison nabbed six of his own. Paul Pierce played just nine minutes after shooting 0-for-5 from the field. James scored 14 points with Pierce on the court. Kendrick Perkins was also sidelined early, picking up two fouls including a flagrant committed on a James fast break.

Halftime: Cavaliers  65, Celtics 43

Even though James only scored 7 points in the second half, the Celtics still trailed the Cavs, 65-43. It is three more points than their first quarter deficit. James led all players at the half with 28 points (11/15 FG, 1/1 3PG, 5/5 FT) in 20 minutes. Rondo (6/13 FG) and Garnett (5/7 FG) scored 12 points apiece for the Celtics. After going scoreless in the first quarter, Pierce scored seven in the second. James’€™ scoring aside, the most glaring stat was on the defensive end. The Cavs had a 25-10 advantage on the boards. James had eight, one more than the Celtics starting five combined.

Third Quarter: Cavaliers 96, Celtics 70

The Cavaliers’€™ dominance continued in the third quarter, as they took a 96-70 lead going into the final 12 minutes. James scored another seven points to bring his total to 35 points through three quarters. The Celtics got their biggest offensive spark from Nate Robinson, who scored eight points (2/3 FG, 2/2 3PG, 2/2 FT)  in three minutes off the bench. Rondo and Garnett still led the C’€™s (16 points apiece), but both players only scored four in the quarter. The Celtics were outrebounded by 20 boards, 34-14. Antawn Jamison recorded a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. The question at the end of the quarter was whether Doc Rivers would turn to the bench or play the starters for a final push.

Fourth Quarter: Cavaliers 124, Celtics 95

The Cavaliers led by over 30 points but it might as well have been a three-point game with all the tension on the court. There were hard fouls, technical fouls, and arguments over fouls that Celtics fans took offense too. Garnett got T’€™ed up after getting tangled up with Anderson Varejao under the basket following a free throw. Varejao was assessed a loose ball foul. Even though that call prompted boos, the loudest jeers were heard when James argued a hard foul committed by Robinson with the Cavs up 27 points. Both teams turned to their bench late in the fourth as the Cavs easily walked away with the win.

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Third Quarter Wrap: Celtics – Cavs 05.07.10 at 9:03 pm ET
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Third Quarter: Cavaliers 96, Celtics 70

The Cavaliers’ dominance continued in the third quarter, as they took a 96-70 lead going into the final 12 minutes.

LeBron James scored another seven points to bring his total to 35 points through three quarters. The Celtics got their biggest offensive spark from Nate Robinson, who scored eight points (2/3 FG, 2/2 3PG, 2/2 FT)  in three minutes off the bench. Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett still lead the C’s (16 points apiece), but both players only scored four in the quarter.

The Celtics are being outrebounded by 20 boards, 34-14. Antawn Jamison now has a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

The question is now whether Doc Rivers will turn to the bench or play the starters for a final push.

Halftime Wrap: Celtics – Cavs 05.07.10 at 8:14 pm ET
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Halftime: Cavaliers  65, Celtics 43

Even though LeBron James only scored 7 points in the second half, the Celtics still trail the Cavs, 65-43. It is three more points than their first quarter deficit.

James leads all players at the half with 28 points (11/15 FG, 1/1 3PG, 5/5 FT) in 20 minutes. Rajon Rondo (6/13 FG) and Kevin Garnett (5/7 FG) scored 12 points apiece for the Celtics. After going scoreless in the first quarter, Paul Pierce scored seven in the second.

James’ scoring aside, the most glaring stat is on the defensive end. The Cavs have a 25-10 advantage on the boards. James has eight, one more than the Celtics starting five combined.

First Quarter Wrap: Celtics – Cavs 05.07.10 at 7:40 pm ET
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First Quarter: Cavaliers 36, Celtics 17

LeBron James scored 21 points in the first quarter, four more than the entire Celtics team combined, to give the Cavs a 19-point lead.

But James isn’t the only problem for the Celtics. The C’s are being outrebounded, 15-5. None of the starters grabbed more than one board, while Antawn Jamison nabbed six of his own.

Paul Pierce played just nine minutes after shooting 0-for-5 from the field. James scored 14 points with Pierce on the court. Kendrick Perkins was also sidelined early, picking up two fouls including a flagrant committed on a James fast break.


Celtics focus on starting small 05.07.10 at 7:11 pm ET
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The Celtics believe if they can end up with big results by starting small.

Their game plan is to focus on the little things that, when executed properly, can result in an advantage in the long run. They are also the things that could wind up hurting them if ignored.

‘€œI think it just boils down to small things,’€ Ray Allen said before Game 3. ‘€œJust building the small things in the game. Don’€™t worry about whether the ball goes in, but more importantly moving the ball, keeping turnovers to a minimum, and then getting back on defense.’€

The Celtics have paid attention to those details so far. They are outrebounding the Cavs, 226-197, picked off 10 more steals, and committed two less turnovers in the first two games of the series.

‘€œAll those that things, they ultimately add up to getting buckets,’€ said Allen. ‘€œBut those habits, if we keep those habits, you start small and as the game goes, the game is being played the right way on both ends.’€

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