Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics

Three takeaways from the Cavs' bounce back win over the Celtics in Game 3

#LeBron

The Cleveland Cavaliers bounced back in a big way at home, cruising to a 116-86 win over the Boston Celtics in Game 3.

LeBron James led the way with 27 points and 12 assists - with all five starters, plus Kyle Korver scoring in double figures in the win.

With the series now standing at 2-1 and the next game on the Cavs' home floor, here are three takeaways from Game 3.

First quarter domination

The Cavaliers wanted to come out and be aggressive in the first quarter and they couldn't have done much better than they did.

Not only did they have their offence humming with 32 points on 11-of-23 shooting from the field - they completely shut down the Boston Celtics, holding them to just 17 points on a poor 6-of-17 shooting from the field.

LeBron James set the tempo pouring in 12 points, while George Hill added 11. The best sign for the Cavs was that they re-discovered their three-point shooting, draining 6-of-11 from deep (17-of-34 for the game). They forced the Celtics to respect them from three and opened up the game from there.

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Sure Not Now

Cavs control the paint

Coach Ty Lue put Tristan Thompson in the starting lineup again alongside Kevin Love, the Cavs' frontcourt established themselves early and often on both sides of the floor.

Al Horford and Marcus Morris have been two of the most impactful players for Boston, but in Game 3, the Cavs zeroed in on making sure they had to earn everything at the rim.

The Celtics duo combined for just 16 points and 12 rebounds on the night.

With LeBron taking more of a playmaking role in Game 3, it resulted in the Cavs getting plenty of easy looks at the rim. They finished with 38 points in the paint and outrebounded the Celtics 45-34.

With LeBron probing around the paint, just look at how much space he opens up inside.

It all starts with the defence

While the Celtics were their own worst enemy shooting the ball, you have to give the Cavs' defense credit.

Cleveland did a great job of limiting the Celtics in transition and forcing them to break them down in the half-court, which resulted in a ton of contested jumpers and isolation plays...the exact opposite of what got the Celtics to a 2-0 lead.

The defensive intensity from the Cavs was on another level as they swarmed the Celtics in the paint, cut off the passing lanes and ran them off the three-point line. When they're locked in on defence, the offence just comes.

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