10 nuggets before Game 3


BOSTON -- Here are 10 facts and figures to keep in mind for Friday's Celtics-Cavaliers Game 3 clash (ESPN, 7 p.m) at the TD Garden (information researched for ESPN by Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.):

1. Boston won Game 2 to wrestle homecourt advantage away from Cleveland in this series. But history suggests that the Cavaliers are still in the driver's seat in this series. Since the NBA instituted the current playoff format in 1983-84, there have been 94 best-of-seven series that began with a split in the first two games. In 56 of those instances, the team that started the series with homecourt advantage still went on to win the series (59.6 percent).

2. LeBron James needs 21 more points to reach the 2,000 mark in the postseason in his career. James is 25 years, 128 days old today. Only one player will have reached the 2,000-point mark in the postseason at a younger age than James. Kobe Bryant scored his 2,000th point in the postseason on May 7, 2003 at the age of 24 years and 257 days old.

JamesJames3. James scored at least 35 points in each of his two games played at TD Garden during the 2009-10 regular season (36 points on Feb. 25th and 42 points on April 10th). James is the first player in 15 years to score 35-or-more points on the road against the Celtics twice in a single season. The last player to do that was James' current teammate Shaquille O'Neal, who had games with 36 and 38 points at Boston during the 1994-95 season.

4. This is the 25th time that the No. 1 seed is opposing the No. 4 seed from the same conference in a postseason series since the NBA instituted the current playoff format in 1983-84. The No. 4 seed won only one of the previous 24 series: Dallas over San Antonio in 2006.

5. The Celtics defeated the top-seeded Cavaliers in Cleveland despite attempting 20 fewer free throws in Game 2. Since the NBA instituted the current playoff format in 1983-84, only two other teams have defeated the top seeded team from its conference on the road while attempting at least 20 fewer free throws: Milwaukee vs. Philadelphia in 2001 (24 fewer FTA) and Orlando vs. Detroit in 2003 (22 fewer FTA). No. 1 seeds were 24-2 at home when attempting 20+ more free throws than its opponent prior to Game 2 of this series.

6. Rajon Rondo shot 5-for-10 from the field and registered 19 assists in Boston's Game 2 victory. Over the last 15 playoff seasons, only two other players have had at least 19 assists while shooting 50+ percent from the field on 10-or-more attempts in the same game: John Stockton in 1996 (19 assists, 5-for-10) and Jason Kidd in 2007 (19 assists, 7-for-14).

GarnettGarnett7. Kevin Garnett has scored fewer than 20 points in each of his last six postseason games. That is the longest such streak of his postseason career. Garnett's previous longest streak of consecutive playoff games with fewer than 20 points was five straight spanning the 1997 and 1998 playoffs.

8. Mo Williams is 0-for-7 from 3-point range in this series. That is the most 3-point field-goal attempts without a make for any player in the 2010 conference semifinals.

9. The Celtics have won each of their last 18 post-season home games in which they have had a lead at halftime. That is the longest current streak in the league... The Celtics are 3-3 in best-`of-seven series in which they split the first two games on the road.

10. This is the 12th time the Celtics have reached the conference semifinals since the NBA instituted the current playoff format in 1983-84 season. That is tied with New York and Chicago for the second highest total among Eastern Conference teams behind Detroit (13).