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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.


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.


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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Ohio Sports

Last Update on October 04, 2015 05:35 GMT


PITTSBURGH (AP) -- A.J. Burnett was outpitched by a rookie in the final regular-season start of his career, and the Cincinnati Reds prevented Pittsburgh from clinching home-field advantage in the NL wild-card game by beating the Pirates 3-1 Saturday night to snap a 13-game losing streak.

Pittsburgh still needs a win Sunday or a Chicago Cubs loss to host the one-game playoff Wednesday night. If the Cubs beat Milwaukee -- and the Pirates lose to Cincinnati again -- the wild-card showdown would be played at Wrigley Field.

Brandon Finnegan (5-2) limited the Pirates to one run in six innings. Adam Duvall hit his fifth homer and Aroldis Chapman got four outs for his 33rd save.


Kluber pitches 8 innings; Indians beat Red Sox 2-0

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Corey Kluber pitched eight innings while Carlos Santana and Ryan Raburn homered, leading the Cleveland Indians to a 2-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday night.

Kluber (9-16) ended his rocky season with a strong performance, allowing three hits and striking out nine. The right-hander, who won the AL Cy Young Award last season, recorded his first victory since Aug. 14.

Santana led off the second with a home run while Raburn's homer started the fourth. Both landed several rows deep in the bleachers in left field.

Craig Breslow (0-4) gave up both home runs, his only mistakes in 5 1/3 innings. The veteran left-hander made his second career start after 522 relief appearances.

Cody Allen pitched the ninth for his 33rd save.


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) -- Ezekiel Elliott scored on touchdown runs of 55, 65 and 75 yards in the second half, and No. 1 Ohio State came up with a final goal line stand to escape with a 34-27 win over Indiana on Saturday.

Elliott had a career best 274 yards on 23 carries.

The Buckeyes (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) extended the FBS' longest winning streak to 18 in a row.

Indiana (4-1, 0-1) lost the nation's leading rusher, Jordan Howard, in the first half and its starting quarterback, Nate Sudfeld, in the third quarter. But the Hoosiers made things difficult for the defending national champions.

Elliott wiped out a 10-6 deficit with the 55-yard run, a 17-13 deficit with the 65-yard run and appeared to have sealed it when his 75-yarder made it 34-20.

But the Buckeyes still needed to break up a pass in the end zone on the final play.


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) -- Ohio State receiver Corey Smith was taken off the field on a golf cart after he appeared to injure his lower right leg during the third quarter of Saturday's game at Indiana.

It looked like Smith's leg got caught underneath a pileup on the Hoosiers sideline.

After several minutes, trainers lifted Smith onto the cart and placed a towel over his head. The crowd applauded politely as he was taken away.

Smith had not caught a pass for the top-ranked Buckeyes.


KENT, Ohio (AP) -- Colin Reardon threw for 136 yards and a score as Kent State held on to an early lead to beat Miami (Ohio) in Mid-American Conference play on Saturday.

Reardon finished with 12-of-21 passing for the Golden Flashes (2-3, 1-0). Antwan Dixon rushed for 72 yards and a touchdown and Shane Hynes kicked a pair of field goals.

Dixon broke away on a reverse play and ran 75 yards for a score midway through the second quarter to help give Kent State a 13-0 halftime lead. In the third quarter, Reardon connected with Ernest Calhoun for a 44-yard touchdown and the Golden Flashes were up 20-0.

The RedHawks (1-4, 0-1) started to click in the fourth quarter, scoring on a 1-yard run by Alonzo Smith and a touchdown pass by Drew Kummer, but it was not enough.

Kummer threw for 315 yards and a score but was intercepted four times.


BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- Matt Johnson threw for a touchdown and ran for another, Donovan Wilson and Ronnie Moore each ran in scores and Bowling Green held off a late surge by Buffalo to win 28-22 in Saturday's Mid-American Conference opener.

Johnson, who threw for more than 400 yards in each of his first four games this season -- a school record -- was 23 of 29 for 324 yards. He scored on a 10-yard run and threw a 12-yard TD pass to Roger Lewis, who had 10 catches for 201 yards.

Wilson scored on a 1-yard run on the Falcon's opening drive and Bowling Green (3-2, 1-0) led 28-9 after Moore's 7-yard TD run in the third quarter.

Buffalo outscored Bowling Green 16-7 in the second half, with Joe Licata hitting Ron Willoughby with a 5-yard TD pass and Jordan Johnson scoring on a 1-yard run. Adam Mitcheson kicked three field goals for the Bulls (2-3, 0-1).


VERMILLION, S.D. (AP) -- Hunter Wells completed 15 of 26 passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns, including a 51-yard strike to Andrew Williams, to help Youngstown State to a 31-3 victory over South Dakota on Saturday.

Williams finished with 79 yards receiving on four catches. Martin Ruiz added 86 yards rushing and two touchdowns for the Penguins (3-1, 1-0 Missouri Valley Conference).

Defensively, Youngstown State held South Dakota to 262 total yards and just 10 first downs while forcing three turnovers.

The Penguins led 17-0 at halftime and were never seriously threatened, extending their lead to 24-0 midway through the third before the Coyotes (2-2, 0-1) finally got on the board after a Miles Bergner 39-yard field goal.

Ryan Saeger threw for 119 yards for South Dakota but completed just nine of his 25 passes with an interception.


MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) -- Phillip Ely threw two touchdowns as Toledo won its fourth-straight with a 24-10 victory over Ball State In Mid-American Conference play on Saturday.

Ely was 16 of 22 for 164 yards for the Rockets (4-0, 1-0). Terry Swanson rushed for 139 yards and Damion Jones-Martin finished with 85 yards and a score.

A pair of Ely touchdown passes in the second quarter, along with a Jones-Moore scoring run and a Jameson Vest field goal gave Toledo a 24-3 advantage at halftime.

Ball State's Morgan Hagee got the Cardinals (2-3, 1-1) on the board just before the break with a 29-yard field goal and Riley Neal hit Jordan Williams for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to close the gap to 24-10.

With 5:34 left, Ely chewed up the clock with an 11-play, 57-yard drive to preserve the Toledo lead.

Neal had 236 yards and a touchdown for the Cardinals.


AKRON, Ohio (AP) -- Derrius Vick threw for one touchdown, Daz'mond Patterson ran for another and the Ohio defense made that hold up for a 14-10 win over Akron in the Mid-American Conference opener on Saturday.

Despite out-gaining the Bobcats by nearly 100 yards, the Zips (2-3) were limited to four Robert Stein field goals.

After Stein's 30-yard field goal with 3:55 to play, Ohio (4-1) went three-and-out. However, the Bobcat defense got a sack by Quentin Poling on second down and Ian Wells broke up a fourth-down pass to seal the win.

After Stein staked Ohio to a 3-0 lead midway through the first quarter, Vick connected with Keith Heitzman for a 24-yard score. Early in the second Patterson scored on a 4-yard run before Stein kicked a 33-yarder three seconds before halftime.

Stein booted a 41-yard field goal late in the third quarter.

Akron had 319 total yards to 227 for Ohio.


DELAND, Fla. (AP) -- Alex Jeske threw three touchdown passes and Dayton converted an interception into a score to beat Stetson 27-14 on Saturday.

Jeske was 15 of 23 for 223 yards, hitting Tyler Tumpane on a 3-yard pass to open the scoring after Christian Searles intercepted a pass by Ryan Tentler and returned it 71 yards.

Jeske connected with Jack Euritt on a 14-yard TD pass for a 17-7 halftime lead, then hit Gus Madden on a 29-yarder in the third. William Will kicked field goals of 44 and 25 yards.

The Hatters outgained the Flyers (4-0, 1-0 Pioneer) 330 total yards to 280 and held Dayton to 57 yards rushing.

Tentler was 22 of 45 for 198 yards with two interceptions and an 8-yard TD pass to Chris Crawford. Tentler led Stetson (1-3, 0-2) in rushing with 90 yards on 11 carries, including a 35-yard TD run in the first quarter.

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