May 21, 2018 / 1:31 AM / 5 months ago

Embarrassed Celtics strive to bounce back against recharged Cavaliers

The Boston Celtics are embarrassed despite leading the Eastern Conference finals.

May 19, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) drives against Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier (12) in game three of the Eastern conference finals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, the Cleveland Cavaliers want to remain in desperation mode.

Cleveland will seek to tie the series on Monday when it hosts the Celtics. Boston leads the best-of-seven series 2-1.

The Cavaliers played by far their best contest of the series when they rolled to a 116-86 win in Game 3 on Saturday. As for Boston, the players were disturbed with their effort.

“I use (Game 3) as fuel. I thought it was embarrassing,” Celtics shooting guard Jaylen Brown told reporters on Sunday. “Thought we came out, the way I played, the way I performed, how not aggressive I was in the first half, I look at that as fuel to come out in Game 4 and be excited about it and be ready to play and ready to fight.

“As a mindset, the game is 90 percent mental, so everything that we do affects our mindset. We can’t look at the last game and get down on ourselves or think we’re out of the series because we lost one game. That’s what the world thinks, that’s what the world wants us to think, so we’re going to come out and play some basketball (in Game 4), regardless of what anybody got to say.”

Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue doesn’t want his players going into relaxation mode after its Game 3 destruction of the Celtics.

Lue wants to see his players feeling the same sense of urgency that fueled the Game 3 win.

“We know what it takes,” Lue said Sunday after the Cavaliers held a film session. “We did it before. We’ve got a lot of veterans, a veteran crew and they know what it takes to win.

“We can’t get satisfied with just one win. It’s just one; we’ve got to come out (Monday) night and duplicate it again.”

Lue’s message during the film session was elementary in nature.

“Just remind them that this is the way we have to play,” Lue said.

Watching film of Game 3 wasn’t the least bit entertaining for Boston coach Brad Stevens.

Stevens doesn’t want his plays focusing on the mistakes and errors. He wants them to envision making the necessary improvements.

“I think, as coaches, you probably watch it over and over and over and over, and then you try to just trim it to what’s necessary,” Stevens said after the session. “This team is, again, prideful, competitive. They’ve been resilient. Nobody felt good leaving the gym (Saturday) night. Nobody felt good when they woke up this morning.

“And so I think that we have to look at what we can do better. There is a physical component to that, and we have to be honest and watch the film and see the things that we got outworked on and see the things that we can just execute better on both ends.”

One eye-opening component in Game 3 was that Boston center Al Horford took just four shots and was held to seven points. He averaged 17.5 points over the first two games.

“I just think that we were a little out of sync,” Horford said. “I think that (in Game 4) we’ll be better in making sure that we have better ball movement. I’m not worried about that. I know I’ll be able to get more shots (Monday).”

Cavaliers star LeBron James had 27 points and 12 assists in Game and is averaging 32.9 points, 9.4 assists and 8.9 rebounds in 14 games this postseason.

—Field Level Media

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