Arbella Early Edition

Scal, Eddie House share keys to C's winning Game 3 vs. Mavs

Boston looks to take a commanding 3-0 series lead on Wednesday night.

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The Boston Celtics are two wins away from Banner 18, but they can't get complacent as the NBA Finals shift to Dallas for Game 3.

They can expect the Mavericks to punch back in front of their home crowd after being outclassed in Games 1 and 2 at TD Garden. To prevent that, Boston will need to keep its foot on the gas and execute its defensive game plan as well as it did in its two victories.

Part of that plan includes continuing to limit Kyrie Irving. The Mavs' star point guard is shooting just 35.1 percent from the floor and has missed all eight of his 3-point attempts.

On Tuesday's Early Edition, Brian Scalabrine said keeping Irving in check will be key to a Celtics victory again in Game 3.

"The key to the game is Kyrie Irving," Scalabrine said. "If you can hold him to 14 points -- someone said best offensive backcourt all-time and Kyrie is averaging 14 points. We all know Kyrie, he played for us and it was a disaster at times, but you cannot argue his talent. It's hard to hold Kyrie down for five straight games. I think Game 3, he feels that pressure and he's been in big moments. I think he'll play better."

Fellow former Celtic and 2008 NBA champion Eddie House believes the C's must play with "controlled desperation" to take a commanding 3-0 series lead.

"To me, the key to Game 3 is coming out desperate, but controlled desperation," House said. "It's to come out and play more desperate than them but under control, because they're gonna come out desperate swinging wild, almost like a dog in the corner that's trying to bite everything, right? That's how they're gonna be.

"We have to be like that too, but be a little bit more controlled and calculated in how we are gonna use our desperation, but we've gotta match it and exceed it. You heard Jrue Holiday speak on that, you also heard Jaylen Brown speak on that. So, I like their mindset going into this game."

The Celtics may have to beat the Mavs without their star big man Kristaps Porzingis. His status for Game 3 and the rest of the series is up in the air due to a "rare" left leg injury he suffered on Sunday. Boston has a 30-5 record without Porzingis this season, but his absence could hurt against Dallas' frontcourt duo of Dereck Lively II and Daniel Gafford.

Tip-off for Game 3 is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday at American Airlines Center. Coverage starts at 6:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live on NBC Sports Boston.

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