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Game 4 adjustments? Doc gets defensive

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Each of the first four questions Doc Rivers fielded to start his daily confab with the media Saturday focused on the Celtics' offense. When the fifth one continued that trend, Rivers paused to politely make one thing clear.

DobbsThat was not an offensive problem [Friday]. It was a defensive problem. We score off our defense. If you take the ball out every time [after an opposing make], you're not going to score in the playoffs. You have to get stops, multiple stops.

-- Celtics coach Doc Rivers

"Listen, if we're going to go over the offense when we just gave up 120 points, then we have a problem," Rivers said a day after his team's 124-95 thumping at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 3 of an Eastern Conference semifinal series.

"That was not an offensive problem [Friday]. It was a defensive problem. We score off our defense. If you take the ball out every time [after an opposing make], you're not going to score in the playoffs. You have to get stops, multiple stops."

Needless to say, the Celtics struggled to get stops Friday. They forced LeBron James and the Cavaliers into jump shots, but the visitors couldn't miss. When they did misfire, they usually got the offensive rebound. Boston had nine -- nine!? -- rebounds in the first half and four of those were offensive.

That means Boston got a mere five first-half possessions in which it had the opportunity to attack Cleveland on the run. Heck, even when the Cavaliers made turnovers, they threw the ball out of bounds, still forcing Boston to inbound and operate out of the half-court set.

So it's no surprise that Boston found itself down by 19 after one quarter, 22 at the intermission, and 29 at game's end.

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