Celtics out to end road woes to­mor­row against Cava­liers

Woonsocket Call - - SPORTS - By KYLE HIGHTOWER

WALTHAM, Mass. — Home-court ad­van­tage has proven to be a valu­able com­mod­ity for dthe Celtics so far this post­sea­son.

Bos­ton is 9-0 at TD Gar­den dur­ing these play­offs and has blis­tered op­po­nents early in games, shoot­ing 47 per­cent from the field and f39 per­cent from the 3-point line. It’s of­ten led to cush­ions that have helped the Celtics sus­tain op­po­nents’ runs in the sec­ond half.

But af­ter boast­ing the third-best road record in the NBA dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son, the Celtics have looked like a to­tally dif­fer­ent team since the post­sea­son be­gan. They are just 1-4 away from their build­ing and seen their shoot­ing num­bers dip to 41 per­cent over­all and 31 per­cent from beyond the arc.

That can’t per­sist if Bos­ton is go­ing to have suc­cess as the se­ries shifts to Cleveland on Satur­day.

Mar­cus Smart, who was all over the court in the Celtics’ Game 2 win , didn’t take any of- fense to Cavs coach Ty­ronn Lue’s com­ment that the Celtics have “shown they haven’t played that well on the road.”

“We haven’t played well. We know that and un­der­stand that,” Smart said. “We un­der­stand that other teams see that and try to ex­ploit it. But that’s the beauty about this game. It just takes one game.

Coach Brad Stevens said he thought the en­tire team seemed a lit­tle “shell-shocked” at Mil­wau­kee in the first round, when af­ter tak­ing a 2-0 se­ries lead, was promptly blown out 116-92 in Game 3. It lost all three road games in that se­ries.

“We took a punch in the mouth right when guys came out and they sur­prised us a lit­tle bit,” Smart said. “We can’t af­ford to be sur­prised this time around. ... We’re just try­ing to make it as hard as we can on those guys for them to win a game and for us to ex­e­cute what­ever plan Brad has for us.”

That will be eas­ier said than done against a Cava­liers team that got 42 points and near triple-dou­ble by LeBron James in Tues­day’s loss.

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