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    Everyone assumed that the prime time Sunday night Game 3 matchup between the Cavs and the Celtics would be a laugher. After the first half the experts were correct. But the second half told a completely different story and undoubtedly Kenny and Chuck put a halt to their “Go Fish” game to watch how this one played out. With Cypress Hill playing in the background, here’s Monday’s Daily Dish.

    Editor’s Note: Hoop Ball Premium Subscribers get access to even more info, articles, live chats, tools and more. Subscribers to our Hoop Ball Fantasy Pro Service get in-depth analysis on a one-on-one basis from our pros. Check it out!

    CELTICS 111, CAVS 108 (GAME 3 ECF)

    Down 0-2 and missing their best player you could forgive the Celtics for coming out flat in Game 3. Despite a 21 point deficit in the third quarter the Celtics failed to give in and found some unlikely offensive prowl in fill-in starter Marcus Smart. The Celtics used some lucky charms and pulled out an unlikely Game 3 victory. Ladies and Gentlemen, we now have a series.

    THE GOOD

    Marcus Smart, staring for the injured Isaiah Thomas, put up his best game of the postseason leading the Celtics with 27 points. Smart shot 8-of-14 from the field (including 7-of-10 from downtown). Smart added five rebounds, seven assists, two steals and one block in 42 minutes of action. If Smart can keep this high level of play going in Game 4 we could be looking at completely different series come Game 5 in Boston.

    Avery Bradley scored 20 points for the Celtics and nailed the clutch 3-pointer just before the buzzer to steal this one from the Cavs. Bradley only shot 8-of-23 from the field, but hit the one shot that mattered. He added three rebounds, four assists, three triples and two steals in 42 minutes of action.

    Jae Crowder posted an efficient double-double on Sunday night scoring 14 points and adding 11 rebounds in 40 minutes of action. Crowder hit 6-of-14 from the field and added three assists, three steals and two triples in the win.

    Kelly Olynyk and Jonas Jerebko combined for 25 points off the bench and hit some big shots in the fourth quarter as the Celtics traded buckets with the Cavs.

    Kyrie Irving led the Cavs with 29 points as he connected on 10-of-15 from the field. Irving added two rebounds, seven assists, four triples and one steal in the loss.

    Kevin Love also played well shooting 8-of-16 from the field for 28 points. Love added 10 rebounds, seven triples, three assists and three blocks in 36 minutes of action.

    THE BAD

    Amir Johnson was once again invisible playing only nine minutes and chipping in two points and two rebounds.

    Jaylen Brown went scoreless off the bench shooting 0-of-3 from the field in the process. Brown was coming off a 19 point Game 2 performance, so it was a little disappointing to see him regress in this one. Brown added two rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block in 13 minutes of action.

    Despite a phenomenal post season run for the King, LeBron James had his worst showing on Sunday night scoring only 11 points on 4-of-13 from the field. James did add six rebounds, six assists, one steal and one block but also committed a game-high six turnovers and also shot 0-of-4 from downtown. James played a game-high 45 minutes in this one and we’ll see if he can bounce back in Game 4 on Tuesday night.

    Deron Williams and Kyle Korver combined for three points off the bench as they combined to shoot 1-of-7 from the field.

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    THE TAKEAWAY

    After the Game 2 massacre and with the loss of their leader Isaiah Thomas there were few critics who gave the Celtics even the slightest of chances of taking this series back to Boston for a Game 5. Credit has to be given to coach Brad Stevens who must have made one heck of a speech during halftime of Game 3 to ignite a fire under his team. With the Warriors potentially wrapping up their series on Monday night they will potentially have eight days of rest until the NBA Finals get underway. Let’s hope that this ECF goes the distance otherwise there will be some quiet days leading up to June 1st.

    THAT DOES IT FOR ANOTHER TASTY DISH. MAKE SURE TO KEEP IT LOCKED ON HOOP-BALL.COM AND FOLLOW US (@HOOPBALLTWEETS) FOR ALL THE LATEST NBA NEWS.  THE WARRIORS WILL LOOK TO WRAP UP THEIR SERIES VS. THE SPURS ON MONDAY NIGHT AND WITH NO KAWHI LEONARD IT JUST SEEMS INEVITABLE. GAME 4 OF THE ECF GOES ON TUESDAY NIGHT AS THE CELTICS WILL LOOK TO TIE UP THEIR SERIES AT 2. WE’LL SEE HOW THE KING REACTS. CHECK YOU NEXT WEEK.

    Editor’s Note: We have a brand new APP for all of our FREE Hoop Ball podcasts. You can download it for your Apple devices here and for your Android devices here. ALSO, you can subscribe to our flagship show Fantasy NBA Today on iTunes right here and on Stitcher right here.

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