The Boston Celtics found life to be a lot tougher on the road as they were handed a 30-point defeat by an energized Cleveland Cavaliers squad.
The Celtics entered Game 3 full of confidence after two convincing wins on their home floor and point guard Terry Rozier believes they might have gotten ahead of themselves, describing today's experience as a valuable one for the young team.
"We have to play better. I felt like we needed this to get us ready for Monday," Rozier said post-game. "We needed to get our butts whooped....Come back to reality and take care of business on Monday."
Rozier finished with 13 points in the 116-86 loss, a game where Cleveland dictated the tempo from start to finish, kicked off by an electric 32-17 first quarter.
"Like our coach [Brad Stevens] said all the time, the toughest team sets the rules. And they came out aggressive from the jump, and they never looked back," Rozier said.
"When you got a team that's playing aggressive like that, and they're at home, it's tough. They set the tone, they set the rules, and they came out aggressive."
The Cavaliers defence held the Celtics to just 29-of-74 shooting (39.1%) from the field as they swarmed them in the paint and defended the three-point line with great intensity.
LeBron James led the Cavs with 27 points and 12 assists, with five of his teammates cracking double digits. While the Cavs had them covered in just about every part of the game, Rozier says the Celtics aren't going to take too much out of the result as they look to shake things off in Game 4.
"Sometimes it doesn't always work out like how we wanted. I think we go into every game feeling like we can win. Sometimes the team plays harder or they play better, and that's what they did tonight," Rozier added.
"No disappointment. No disappointment. Just all the credit goes to them. We gotta play better. We can't win them all. Obviously, we wanted this one, it'd be good to go 3-0 to start the series. But everything don't go as planned."