Cavaliers edge Wizards to win Game 3
The Washington Wizards tried to inspire their team and fans by introducing injured stars Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler before the game, but Cleveland Cavaliers fought hard and managed to secure a 98-92 Game 3 win. They take a commanding 3-0 series lead in the best-of-seven first round series of the 2007 NBA Playoffs.
The Wizards, down 17 in the third quarter, four hard to make a game out of it but couldn't maintain intensity when it counted.
Cavs superstar LeBron James dominated, shooting 11-of-22 for 30 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists and just 2 turnovers. He hit 3-of-5 from three-point range.
"We're not playing against a high school team," James said to the Associated Press. "We're not playing against an NCAA team. It's the NBA. No matter what personnel is on the floor, we have to win the ball game, it's as simple as that. We win by 20, we win by one or we win by six, like we did tonight, a win is a win."
Antawn Jamison, the lone Wizards star who isn't out with an injury, rose to the occasion, shooting 15-of-27 for 38 points and 11 rebounds. But he didn't receive enough help.
All five Cavs starters scored in double figures. Aside from James, Zydrunas Ilgauskas (10-of-13) had 24 points and 8 rebounds, Larry Hughes (4-of-11) had 11 points and 8 rebounds, Sasha Pavlovic (5-of-12) had 11 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists, and Drew Gooden (4-of-7) had 10 points, 12 rebounds and 4 assists.
For the Wizards, Antonio Daniels (7-of-13) had 20 points, 4 rebounds and 13 assists, and Jarvis Hayes (6-of-13) had 15 points and 4 rebounds. No other Wizard scored in double digits.
Etan Thomas grabbed 9 rebounds for Washington. But the Cavs dominated the glass, winning the rebounding battle 48-33. They dished 24 assists; the Wizards had 18.
Cleveland hit 50% of their shots, connecting on 38 of their 76 field goal attempts. Washington hit 36-of-83 for 43.4%.
Washington did exhibit nice ball control, with only 7 turnovers.
DeShawn Stevenson, getting increased playing time with Butler and Arenas out, continued to struggle for Washington. He shot 3-of-12 in Game 1, and again in game 2, and today hit 3-of-14.
Game 4 is Monday, April 30 in Washington.