The Cavaliers win 103-95. James scores a double-double (31 points and 11 rebounds), Love scores 23 points, Smith scores 15 points. Turner scores 19 points and Bradley scores 18 points for the Celtics. Cleveland leads East First Round series 3-0.
Coach Blatt on Smith’s performance:
He didn’t necessarily have to after scoring 30 points in Game 2. But he wanted to be with his teammate.
James on teammate Smith:
We were together last night watching playoff games. He said he wanted to go early and I said, ‘Let’s go’.
You want to make sure that we play as well as possible for however many games we have left.
The Cavaliers win 99-91. James scores 30 points, Irving scores 26 points and Mozgov scores 16 points. Thomas scores 22 points for the Celtics. Cleveland leads the East First Round Series 2-0. James:
I’ve been in this moment before, and a lot of our guys haven’t. I thought it was important for me to put a stamp on this game.
Coach Stevens on Celtics loss:
We made those guys earn everything they got. And that’s a step in the right direction. We were in a three-possession game and we shot 38 percent.
It wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t pretty. But we got it done.
The Celtics win 113-103. Thomas scores 34 points, a season high for the player, and Crowder scores 17 points. For the Pistons, Drummond scores 22 points and 14 rebounds, Jackson scores 21 points and 15 assists, and Greg Monroe scores 19 points and ten rebounds. The Celtics eliminate Detroit from playoff contention. Coach Van Gundy on Thomas’ performance:
A lot of this game came down to the fact that we just couldn’t contain Isaiah Thomas. We couldn’t keep him out of the paint, we couldn’t stay with him on pick-and-rolls and when we tried to trap him, he just went around our bigs.
He was just great – he’s a really skilled player. He was playing with really skilled groups tonight and he was getting to the rim and getting his shots.
This was a big game for us, and we played within ourselves. We executed everything we needed to do, and they didn’t make many adjustments on the pick and roll. It was good.
The Celtics win 117-116. Thomas scores 25 points, Zeller 20 points, and Turner scores a double-double (18 points and ten rebounds). De Rozan scores 38 points and Valanciunas scores 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Raptors. Smart:
It’s just the will, the determination, The guys on this team, we’re competitors, heavy competitors. We don’t like to lose that much, especially when we come off a night where we didn’t play that well.
On the wins play:
When he drove he committed two defenders, including mine, Lou Williams swiped (the ball) toward the area I was in and I was able to get the shot off in time.
I thought I did enough. I figure it’s game. I thought I got the stop. It was just a bad bounce.
We overcame a lot tonight. It was tough. I’m just glad we stuck it all the way through to the end.
You don’t win very often with 2.6 seconds.
The Celtics wins 100-87 against the Pacers. Olynyk scores 19 points, Turner scores a triple-double (13 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds). Hill scores 21 points and Stuckey scores 16 points for the Pacers. Coach Stevens on Olynyk injuries:
He felt OK. It was more of a vision thing; how well could he see? He was saying he could see pretty well and the doctors felt pretty good about him playing. They stitched him up. I think it looked a little worse than it felt. I think that’s an obvious statement.
Olynyk on eye injuries:
When I first did it, I went in there and they told me I won’t be playing. Then when I went in to see the doctor, they wanted to dilate my eye, but your vision would be blurry. I told them not to, because I wanted to play. They sewed it up. I came back and wanted to give it a try.
It’s very frustrating, Everything is on the line and we’re just blowing it away and giving it away.
The Celtics beat the Hornets 116-104. Bradley scores 30 points, eight rebounds, Evan Turner scores 15 points. Walker scores 28 points and 12 assists for the Hornets. Coach Stevens:
Avery was terrific on both ends of the floor.
Every game is important, so we came and toughed it out.
I’m pretty disappointed, especially because we had to play catch-up throughout the whole game.
Stevens talks about if he recruits players who would leave for the NBA after their freshman season:
My thing on guys that have the ambition to be NBA players, first of all a lot of players do. Interestingly enough, I think at Butler we probably have more guys that have recognized that they have limitations and probably won’t be at the NBA level. Sometimes those guys are a lot easier to coach because they know this is really their last hurrah. … I absolutely would if they are ultimately committed to getting a degree from Butler. … When Gordon Hayward left after his sophomore year, I felt great peace with that because I know that he was only 47 hours away from getting a degree.
Stevens speaks about his Butler Bulldogs selling out arenas all across the United States:
They really are. Plus, you add to that that Fordham’s best player, who is a double-double average for his career, hadn’t played in seven or eight games and he comes back to play against us and almost single-handedly had us on the ropes. So it was a great environment, a great challenge for us. … I was really worried about the fact that I thought we were going to be tired. … But one of the things we talked about was how exciting it is to play in New York City … and I think that adrenaline was a good thing for our team.
Stevens gives his thoughts about Butler’s potential for the upcoming season:
I think you mentioned a couple of those guys and certainly we’re all thankful for what Matt Howard did, not only for Butler, but for college basketball in general. The way he acted on and off the court is what you’re looking for out of a student-athlete. And Shelvin and Gordon did the same thing while they were in school. If you would have told me that those two guys were going to leave school early to go to the NBA, and this is the team we have, I just really feel fortunate that we have been able to continue to bring in the right guys to not only represent Butler well but to field a team that I think can grow into a pretty darn good basketball team.
Stevens talks about the aftermath of Butler losing to Connecticut in the NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship game:
Really difficult, but you never prepare for that last locker room. But, we were one of two teams that knew we were going to have our senior sendoff. And we were really fortunate that that was the case. But it was really hard, our guys wanted to shoot the ball better, there’s no question about that. And anytime you go 12-for-64 you’re not going to win. But it’s kind of remarkable that if we had shot 25 percent, we would have been one possession down with a chance to win the game.
Stevens talks about an upcoming game against Virginia Commonwealth:
So, all you have to do is stop them from shooting threes? Easier said than done. I think one of the things you are talking about is you better guard them with a huge sense of urgency because they are rolling like maybe no other team I can remember in the NCAA Tournament, probably rolling as much as North Carolina was two years ago when they won it.
Stevens gives his thoughts on Butler’s 11-game winning streak:
One of the great problems with the way the scrutiny during the season goes is sometimes you can play relatively well in certain areas and lose because you get beat on a given night. … We never mentioned the Youngstown loss again. We mentioned what we did well and tried to build on it.
Stevens talks about Butler winning the conference championship:
We had been beaten twice. … You’re playing for a conference championship and a chance to go to the NCAA tournament. We kind of sold the whole week as, hey, there was a three-way tie for first and we get to play them both. I think that was something that we wanted to win our own outright championship in our minds.
Stevens discusses staying at Butler to coach:
At the end of the day, I am really fortunate to be in a place where we have every person in the building is on the same page and wants to all move in the same direction. Butler is a great place. The history of Butler and the tradition of Butler and everything like that are certainly easy things to sell, but it’s the people that separate it. I’ve got great people that I work for. We have great players in our locker room that, to be quite honest, I just like being around. I’ve sat quite a bit in many of those meetings with recruits and said, Hey, you make a decision based on fluff now, but at the end of your life, it’s about people you are around. So I tried to heed my own advice.
Stevens comments on making the NCAA Final Four:
You’re having fun then you start thinking about Michigan State and you say no, not really having any fun anymore. No, yeah, we’re enjoying it. The buzz around campus is unbelievable. I tried to sneak in the back today after watching some tape at home and I walk in the back door and the line is five deep all the way around the fieldhouse. As you know, I apologized by email to a couple of people that walked by because as you know, all I’m thinking about is down screens and block outs. I got nothing else on my mind, I got done with my tickets yesterday. I don’t have anything but Michigan State on my mind and I’m just happy to still be preparing against somebody.
Stevens talks about Butler’s upcoming game against UTEP:
I think they’re a combination of a few teams. They beat UAB twice so they obviously figured out something that we couldn’t figure out when we played them earlier this year. They also play a little bit like Minnesota on the defensive end of the floor. They’ll mix in some traps, they’ll mix in some presses, some run and jumps and those kinds of things. They do a good job trying to keep you off balance in that regard and they have the athletes to do that.