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WRGT-TV FOX 45 News :: Sports - Local Sports - James scores 31, Cavs beat Celts 103-95 for 3-0 series lead

James scores 31, Cavs beat Celts 103-95 for 3-0 series lead

BOSTON (AP) -- LeBron James scored 31 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers moved one win away from a sweep in their first playoff series in five years with a 103-95 victory over the Boston Celtics on Thursday night.

The scrappy Celtics kept it close, just as they did in the previous two games, and trailed 95-92 after Evan Turner hit a 3-pointer with 2:45 left. But Kevin Love hit two 3-pointers for a 101-93 lead with 26 seconds to go.

Cleveland can complete the sweep of the best-of-seven, first-round series Sunday in Boston. No NBA team has won a series after trailing 3-0.

Turner had 19 points and Avery Bradley added 18 while Isaiah Thomas managed just five points after scoring 22 in the first two games.

Love had 23 points and J.R. Smith added 15 for the Cavaliers.

James went to TD Garden more than an hour before Thursday's shootaround to work on his game, despite having scored 50 points in the first two.

It was his first postseason game in Boston since Game 6 of the 2012 Eastern Conference finals when he was with Miami. He had 45 points and 15 rebounds in that game to avoid elimination. The Heat won Game 7 at home then beat Oklahoma City for James' first NBA title.

On Thursday he was booed nearly every time he touched the ball in the first half. The Celtics led 48-44 before the Cavaliers closed with a 12-0 run for a 56-44 lead. In the last 40 seconds, James had six points and a steal.

Boston tied it at 56 by scoring the first eight points of the third quarter. Then Cleveland went on another spurt and took a 77-66 lead on a 3-pointer by Kyrie Irving with just under 4 minutes left in the period.

The Cavaliers led 84-76 after three quarters before James opened the fourth by scoring Cleveland's first seven points for an 89-78 lead then fed Tristan Thompson with an alley-oop pass.

Cleveland is in its first playoff series since 2010 when it lost the Eastern Conference semifinals in six games to Boston. Two months later, James left for the Heat and led them to the NBA Finals in all four of his seasons, winning two championships before returning to the Cavaliers this season.

James finished with 11 rebounds and Love had nine.

TIP-INS

Cavaliers: Love had nine points in the opening quarter after totaling just three in the first 12 minutes of the first two games. ... Irving didn't make his first field goal until he hit a 3-pointer with 6:27 left in the third quarter, giving Cleveland a 70-66 lead.

Celtics: Brad Stevens coached his first NBA home playoff game but watched as a fan in the 2008 playoffs in the building. ... Boston made six of its first seven shots in the third quarter.

HARD KNOCKS

The Celtics played more physically in the first half than they did in the first two games. Jonas Jerebko knocked down Irving on a hard foul and Smith received a technical while players milled around. And in the final minute, Turner received a flagrant foul against James, who then made two free throws and a jumper on the game's next possession.

James scores 31, Cavs beat Celts 103-95 for 3-0 series lead

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Last Update on May 28, 2015 05:37 GMT

RANGERS-INDIANS

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Carlos Santana capped and eight-run third inning with a three-run homer, leading the Cleveland Indians past Texas 12-3 on Wednesday to end the Rangers' seven-game winning streak.

Carlos Carrasco (6-4) allowed only Robinson Chirinos' solo homer in the fifth while pitching eight sharp innings. The right-hander held Texas to five hits and struck out eight.

Texas starter Colby Lewis (4-3) allowed 10 runs and 11 hits in 2 2-3 innings. He was chased in the third when the Indians sent 12 men to the plate.

The lopsided loss ended Texas' seven-game winning streak.

Josh Hamilton singled in the seventh for his first hit since returning to the Rangers on Monday, but was thrown out by left fielder Mike Aviles trying for a double. Hamilton is 1 for 11 in three games after being acquired from the Angels on April 27.

RANGERS-HAMILTON

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Josh Hamilton singled in the seventh inning Wednesday for his first hit since returning to the Texas Rangers.

Hamilton, hitless in his first nine at-bats since returning Monday, lined a hit down the left field line off Cleveland's Carlos Carrasco. The AL MVP in 2010 was thrown out trying for a double by Indians' left fielder Mike Aviles.

Hamilton, who flied out in his first two at-bats, crashed face-first into the left-field wall catching Jason Kipnis' line drive in the first inning. Hamilton briefly remained on the ground, but stayed in the game.

Hamilton had a self-reported alcohol and cocaine relapse last offseason. He was a five-time All-Star in his first stint with Texas and led the Rangers to the World Series in 2010 and 2011.

ROCKIES-REDS

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Nolan Arenado hit a three-run homer on Wednesday, extending his hitting tear, and Kyle Kendrick pitched into the eighth inning for his first win since opening day, leading the Colorado Rockies to a 6-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

The Rockies won for the fourth time in five games, taking two of three in the series. The Reds have lost 10 of 11, a streak that started when one of the home run smokestacks at Great American Ball Park caught fire during a loss to the Giants on May 15.

Arenado hit his 10th homer in the first inning off Mike Leake (2-4) and added a single. In the past four games, the third baseman is 9 for 16 with three homers, one triple and 10 RBIs.

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