Cleveland has confidence after completing a comeback in 2016, and knowing LeBron James still exists always helps. But this version of the Warriors provides a much different challenge, especially with Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant both healthy and playing at MVP levels.
So what happens in Game 3? Here are a few important factors that may end up deciding this contest as well as the series.
The biggest storyline for the second half (apart from whether the Cavs win) will be LeBron James’ bid to surpass Michael Jordan in all-time postseason scoring. With 20 points this game so far, James needs only eight points to surpass Jordan. He also seven rebounds and steals, and is well on his way to a triple-double.
Some stats from the half. Cleveland is shooting 59.5 percent from the field (25 of 42). Boston is 44.7 percent (21 of 47). LeBron James (20), Deron Williams (14) Kevin Love (12) and Kyrie Irving (11) all have double-digit scores Avery Bradley (19) and Jae Crowder (11) lead the Celtics in scoring.
The Cavs lead the Celtics 75-57, putting up a franchise record for most points scored in a half. If they had a mind to, they could likely hit 150. But it won’t get that bad, not if they keep dominating Boston.
The Cavs are currently shooting 8 of 17 from 3-point land, compared to the Celtics’ 4-of-12 shooting. Cleveland has 18 points off the bench compared to Boston’s 14. Perhaps Deron Williams has something to do with the Cavs’ success?