There must be something about the Ohio air that makes the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland the perfect place for the Cavaliers to play.
The Wine and Gold responded with a 30-point beating of their own on the Golden State Warriors after being blown out to the tune of 33 points by the defending champions in the second game of this NBA Finals series.
The Cavaliers look like a completely different team on the shores of Lake Erie where they hold an 8-0 playoff record this year. LeBron James and company responded to an anxious crowd of fans with the best first quarter they have played in these finals. Cleveland outscored Golden State 33-16 and had the Q bouncing.
Many wondered what got into the Cavs’ starters as they outscored the Warriors’ starting lineup 105-57.
LeBron said: “It was a good flow, and everyone felt like they were a part of tonight's win. So it was just a collective team win. It wasn't about us versus their starting five. It was just about how everyone can get the job done whoever is on the floor.”
The offensive flow was definitely lacking for Cleveland earlier in this series as they looked downright rattled in the first two games at the Oracle Arena. James responded in this encounter with 32 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists.
The King was aggressive throughout the night and was willing to make the plays that the team needed on both ends of the floor.
The Cavs got the job done without star power forward Kevin Love, who sat out the contest with a concussion.
Love was reported to be frustrated with his inability to play, per Marc Stein of ESPN. The big man, though, can’t be too frustrated with the results which allow him time to get right on his own terms and be ready for the next game.
No one could really put a finger on what exactly was different about Cleveland’s attack tonight. Kyrie Irving had some suggestions after the game as to how his approach changed in game three.
The point guard said: “I know that I can't play in between or be indecisive, especially with guys in front of me. Just constantly in attack mode. I know my teammates consistently want me to do that, possession by possession, whether it's getting downhill or shooting jump shots or whatever it is.”
Irving finished his night with 30 points, eight assists, and four rebounds. He and James rebounded masterfully from their tame performances in game two.
The next task for the Cavs will be to carry the momentum from this game. If they can win game four, then we will really have an interesting series on our hands.