LeBron buzzer-beater gives Cavs 3-0 lead, Celtics on the cusp
All hail LeBron James after his buzzer-beater gave the Cleveland Cavaliers a dramatic 105-103 win over the Toronto Raptors and a commanding 3-0 series lead.
James left Eastern Conference top seed the Raptors on the verge of a play-off exit with a running one-hander at the buzzer in Cleveland on Saturday.
The three-time NBA champion nailed a buzzer-beater against the Indiana Pacers in the first round and he was at it again to put the Cavaliers on the cusp of the conference finals.
James posted a workmanlike-line with 38 points, seven rebounds and six assists on 14-of-26 shooting. Even better, he finished nine of 11 from the free-throw line, while Kevin Love put up 21 points and 16 rebounds.
"They gave us everything they have and more," James told ESPN after the game. "We could play so much better, but it's a gutsy win."
The Raptors were led by Kyle Lowry's 27 points, with game four on Monday.
Also in the east and the Boston Celtics boast a commanding 3-0 lead after trumping the Philadelphia 76ers 101-98 in overtime.
For Boston, it came with a huge helping hand from veteran center Al Horford, who scored both the go-ahead basket in overtime along with two free throws to all but seal the deal.
"He just makes everybody's job so easy," Terry Rozier told reporters after the game. "I'm just grateful to have him on our team. ... He's just great. Just great. Future Hall of Famer."
No team have ever come back to win a series when down 3-0 in NBA history.
TATUM STARS AGAIN
Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum had 24 points, five rebounds and four assists. The 20-year-old is averaging 24.3 points per game this series and 18.1 points in the playoffs.
Joel Embiid had 22 points and 19 rebounds in a postseason-high 41 minutes. Embiid played more than 40 minutes just once in the regular season.
COVINGTON ENDURES FORGETTABLE GAME
Philadelphia forward Robert Covington went 0-for-eight shooting with one point and two rebounds in 25 minutes. The 76ers were also minus-12 with him on the court which was the single worst output for Philly and better than only Semi Ojeleye (minus-14) of the Celtics who played 21 less minutes.
UP AND UNDER!
Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson with the up and under in the first half against the Raptors.
WARRIORS (2-1) AT PELICANS (1-2) & ROCKETS (2-1) AT JAZZ (1-2)
The New Orleans Pelicans showed the NBA they cannot just compete with reigning champions the Golden State Warriors, but they can beat them. The series is now 2-1 in favour of Golden State, but the Pelicans have another home game and anything can happen in New Orleans where they are undefeated (3-0) in the postseason.
The Houston Rockets ended the Utah Jazz's seven-game home winning streak with a dominant game-three performance and game four will be a great indicator as to whether this game was a backbreaker or a wake-up call for Utah.