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Watch 20,000-plus Cavaliers fans perform the national anthem before Game 3 of the NBA Finals

The Cleveland Cavaliers appear to have started a new tradition when it comes to the pregame singing of the national anthem.

For at least the sixth time during this postseason, the Cavaliers on Tuesday, before Game 3 of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, enlisted singer Jessica Ruiz for the performance of the “The Star Spangled Banner.”

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But Ruiz didn’t perform the anthem for the crowd at Quicken Loans Arena; she sang it with them.

“Cleveland, please join me in singing our national anthem,” Ruiz said before getting things started with the first line, then holding out the mic to let the crowd take over.

And that’s just what the fans did, using their voices to honor our country … and to cheer themselves on. After the performance, the public address announcer said, “Thank you, Cleveland.”

It was the Cavaliers’ first home game in the series and their first win, a 120-90 rout to cut the Warriors’ lead to two games to one. Back in Oakland, Golden State had John Legend and Carlos Santana perform the anthem before Games 1 and 2.

The Cavaliers’ website features videos of Ruiz leading the crowd in the singing of the anthem before five other playoff games this season -- both home games against Detroit in the first round, both home games against Atlanta in the second round and Game 1 against Toronto in the Eastern Conference finals.


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