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Welcome back to the NBA playoffs, Cavaliers

We have that and more in Sunday’s NBA newsletter.

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Boston Celtics v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Three Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

We might have a real Eastern Conference Finals series, after all. After two convincing Celtics wins in Boston, the Cavaliers came storming back with a convincing home win of their own on Saturday, reigning 116-86. LeBron had 27 points on 12 shots with 12 assists. Thanks largely to LeBron’s gravity, insistence on attacking, and incredible playmaking skill, Cleveland hit 17 of 34 from long-range.

On the other end, Boston went ice cold, which is pretty normal for the Celtics on the road, though the Cavs certainly did some interesting, energetic things on defense. Cleveland took away Marcus Smart post work by moving LeBron onto him, and took Al Horford out of the game, more or less, with Tristan Thompson.

Paul Flannery was on scene and writes that LeBron and company finally woke up and did what’s needed to beat Boston. Kristian Winfield points out that a hot first quarter is typically a great sign for Cleveland.

Saturday’s Score

Cavaliers 116, Celtics 86
Boston leads 2-1
Recaps: Fear The Sword | CelticsBlog

Sunday’s Schedule

Rockets at Warriors, 8 p.m. ET, TNT
Series tied 1-1

Aces at Sun, 1 p.m. ET, Streaming on Twitter
Fever at Mystics, 1 p.m. ET, NBA TV
Dream at Wings, 3 p.m. ET, Streaming on Twitter
Sparks at Lynx, 5 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Liberty at Sky, 7 p.m. ET, Streaming on Twitter
Mercury at Storm, 9 p.m. ET, Streaming on Twitter

EuroLeague Championship
Fenerbahce vs. Real Madrid, 2 p.m. ET, Flosports (to be broadcast on delay on NBA TV at 11 a.m. Monday)

Links Galore

Yes, NBA TV is showing the EuroLeague championship game, starring Luka Doncic ... but not until 11 a.m. ET on Monday. If you don’t have access to FloSports or flexible morals, that’s when you can see it. Regardless, here’s a preview from Ball In Europe. By the way, Doncic sure as heck looked ready for the NBA in the semifinal win. He was making up for a lackluster Final Four in 2017. By the way, he’s also been named the dang EuroLeague MVP.

Meanwhile, there’s essentially a WNBA takeover of Twitter on Sunday, with four games being streamed on the platform. Here’s the event link. Should be an interesting experience.

This LeBron reverse dunk was so unnecessary and so vital at the same time.

Rest in peace to Elfrid Payton’s hair.

What Zach Lowe will be looking at in Warriors-Rockets Game 3.

The biggest winners and losers from the NBA Draft Combine. At which the Pistons used virtual reality to quiz prospects. Which ... the Pistons still have a front office? I sometimes forget that organizations who lose their leader still function in the aftermath.

Terry Rozier is a reminder that nice surprises can still happen in sport.

De’Anthony Melton, a USC recruit, was caught up in the FBI college basketball scandal. He sat out the whole season. How he stayed sane.

Checking in with DeMarcus Cousins’s rehab and Instagram following habits.

Lyndsey D’Arcangelo talked to the WNBA’s most outspoken gender nonconfirming player, Layshia Clarendon.

Kevin O’Connor on the potential of the dawn of Mercenary LeBron.

Chris Herring explains why the NBA abandoned Roy Hibbert.

EuroLeague players announced a unionization effort on Saturday.

Bill Russell tagging multiple TMZ accounts when tweeting a health update is gloriously 2018.

This is really cool: despite his annual postseason social media blackout, LeBron turned his immensely popular Instagram over to a variety of inspirational stories and causes. Awesome.

The Spurs are reported to want a “grand slam” offer for Kawhi Leonard, which is primarily causing a plethora of Denny’s jokes.

On Michael Porter’s upside despite his injury history.

Only three NBA or WNBA players have hit 1,000 career threes in their first 400 games: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Damian Lillard, and -- as of Friday -- Diana Taurasi. She capped the achievement with an MF, of course. Legend.

Not basketball, but one of my favorite writers on one of my favorite drinks.

What happens to you after you hit one of those big-prize halfcourt shots.

Why Kings fans shouldn’t worry about the noise around Doncic.

Kendrick Perkins, claiming ignorance of who or what Chewbecca is, says he doesn’t really “keep up with all that new stuff.” Perkins was born 18 months after Return of the Jedi’s release.

And finally: De’Aaron Fox reads as Lady Bird.

Be excellent to each other.