Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love is the third fiddle for the team, but sometimes he just has to take charge. That was the case in the first quarter of the team's Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday night. With some room to operate, he decided to let his hot hand loose. In doing so, he came just a basket short of tying a playoff record and two baskets short of breaking the record outright.

Electric first quarter for Love

Love wasted no time going to work in the first quarter. With his team trailing 5-3 after a couple of minutes, he helped seize the lead with a three-point basket.

A couple of minutes later he did it again, extending Cleveland's lead to seven points. He scored the next basket for the team too, as Al Horford was late to close out on him. By the end of the first quarter, it was readily apparent that this was going to be the night that brought further clarity to his playoff legacy.

By the time the first quarter buzzer sounded, Love had already knocked down five three-pointers. It was just one shy of the playoff record for three-pointers in a quarter, ironically set by former Boston Celtics forward Antoine Walker on April 28, 2002 against the Philadelphia 76ers. By the end of the first half, he had seven triples in the bag. It would have appeared that Cleveland was well on their way to another victory.

Cavaliers can't hold off Boston

Love didn't hit another three-pointer during the game. Another picturesque first half for the Cavaliers turned into a nightmare as the team seemingly became complacent. The team blew a 21-point lead and gave up a wonky buzzer-beater to Celtics shooting guard Avery Bradley in a 111-108 loss.

The loss assures that the series will go back to Boston for a Game 5, where the Cavaliers could either be leading 3-1 or the series could be tied at two games apiece.

As for Love, it was one of his best games of the entire year, not just the playoffs. He had only hit at least seven three-pointers twice in the season, with both performances falling in November.

His 28 points were the second-highest total of his postseason. He has stepped up in this particular series, averaging 27 points per game. On Sunday, that didn't prove to be enough, but he'll have an opportunity to keep up his play on Tuesday night. If he keeps playing at his current level of production, it should only be a matter of time before Cleveland takes the series and advances to the NBA Finals.

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