NBA: Cavs, Bulls, Warriors one win away from series sweeps

  • AFP, Los Angeles
  • Updated: Apr 24, 2015 15:02 IST

LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers moved to within one win of advancing to the second round of the NBA playoffs with a 103-95 victory over the Boston Celtics on Thursday.

James finished with 31 points and 11 rebounds for the second seeded Cavaliers, who took a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference series. No NBA team has ever lost a series after winning the first three contests.

"I just try to do a little bit of everything," James said. "Whatever it takes for my team to win. I want to be part of it."

In the other East game Thursday, Derrick Rose scored a season-high 34 points with eight assists and five rebounds and help the Chicago Bulls take a 3-0 lead with a 113-106 double-overtime win against the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Golden State Warriors also took a 3-0 series lead as they overcame a 20 point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the New Orleans Pelicans 123-119 in overtime.

Kevin Love, who is playing in his first career post-season, had his best game of the series so far for Cleveland.

Love tallied 23 points and nine rebounds and hit a couple of key three pointers late in the contest. He made a half a dozen three-pointers, including two in the final two and a half minutes, as the Celtics attempted to claw their way back into the game.

Love had 12 points in the first half after scoring 13 in game two, which the Cavs won 99-91 on Tuesday.

"Kevin has been great overall," said Cleveland coach David Blatt.
"He didn't score as much in the second game as he did tonight, but he's been engaged. I haven't seen any nervousness and discomfort since the series began."

J.R. Smith scored 15 points, Kyrie Irving scored 13 and Tristan Thompson had 12 in the victory.

Evan Turner paced the Celtics' attack with 19 points while Avery Bradley scored 18 and Jae Crowder came off the bench to score 16.

The Cavaliers can close out the series sweep against the seventh-seeded Celtics with another win on Sunday in Boston. The winner of this series advances to play either the Bulls or the Bucks.

Just like the Cavaliers, history will be on the Bulls' side in game four. Rose, who was held scoreless in the first half of game two and finished with 15 points, led a 12-0 run to open the second overtime period.

"It's an honour to even be in the playoffs, let alone be up 3-0," Rose said. "We're playing against a hungry team, a young team that is pushing us. That's why you gotta love the playoffs because every game is different."

Jimmy Butler scored 24 points and Pau Gasol finished with 17 points, 14 rebounds and five assists for Chicago, which squandered a 10-point lead in the final three minutes of regulation before battling for the win.

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