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NBA Finals Spurs at Cavaliers Game 3

June 12, 2007

2007 NBA Finals Game 3 - San Antonio Spurs (-1, 178) at Cleveland Cavaliers 9:00 PM ET

LeBron James of the CavaliersLeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers fell behind early in Game 2 on Sunday, and couldn't make up enough ground in the second half to avoid a 2-0 deficit in the series.

But now the Cavs will at least get to play some home games as they look to get back into the best-of-seven NBA Finals.

Cleveland will play host to San Antonio in Game 3 on Tuesday night and Game 4 on Thursday night, and if they manage to pull out a victory in either of those contests they'll also get home-court advantage for Game 5 on Sunday.

However, Cleveland's performance in the first half of Game 2 suggests that Game 5 might not be necessary. The Spurs outscored the Cavaliers 28-17 in the first quarter on Sunday, and 30-16 in the second quarter en route to a 58-33 advantage at the break.

San Antonio then eased up in the third quarter, outscoring Cleveland just 31-29, before the Cavaliers took over the game with a 30-14 advantage in the fourth quarter.

That difference, though, wasn't enough to get Cleveland the win - in fact it wasn't even enough to allow them to cover the 7-point spread on the night. The final score of 103-92, though, was good news for OVER bettors - the total had been pegged at 176 points.

Tony Parker scored a game-high 30 points for San Antonio in Sunday night's home victory. Manu Ginobili picked up 25 points and went a perfect 11-for-11 from the free-throw line.

Tim Duncan added 23 points to go along with nine rebounds and eight assists. No other Spurs player managed to get score double-digit points in the victory.

For the Cavaliers, James went just 9-of-21 from the field and picked up 25 points to go along with seven boards, six assists, and six turnovers. Daniel Gibson kicked in 15 points in the loss, while Drew Gooden scored 13 points, Sasha Pavlovic had 10 points, and Anderson Varejao grabbed 10 rebounds. Larry Hughes was pointless in 20 minutes.

King James' 25-point performance on Sunday night was a sizeable improvement on his 14-point effort from Game 1, but some quick fouls forced him to miss a large chunk of the first quarter. With the Cavs' top scorer off the floor the Spurs built up their big lead.

So James will need to avoid foul trouble in Game 3 on Tuesday night (tip-off is set for 9:00pm ET once again) if he wants Spurs fans to put the brooms away.

When San Antonio played in Cleveland during the regular season James scored 19 points in the 82-78 victory, and the Duncan/Parker/Ginobili trio was held to just 50 combined points.

Of course, the Cavs did get 18 points from Hughes in that January 2 victory, and he's been a non-factor in the Finals because of his foot injury.

Cleveland also got eight points and 13 rebounds from Zydrunas Ilgauskas in that win, and the Spurs have neutralized him over the first two games (11 points, 10 boards combined in the Finals).

The books opened San Antonio as a 1.5-point road favorite for Tuesday night's game, with the opening total set at 178.5 points. Here is the complete schedule for the rest of the Finals (all games 9:00pm ET). Games 5, 6, and 7 will only be played if necessary:

Game 3 - Tuesday, June 12 - San Antonio at Cleveland
Game 4 - Thursday, June 14 - San Antonio at Cleveland
Game 5 - Sunday, June 17 - San Antonio at Cleveland
Game 6 - Tuesday, June 19 - Cleveland at San Antonio
Game 7 - Thursday, June 21 - Cleveland at San Antonio

Check your favorite sportsbooks for the current lines, totals, and prop wagers for this series.


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