Celtics follow euphoria of winning lottery with dud on court

  • Celtics follow euphoria of winning lottery with dud on court

Celtics follow euphoria of winning lottery with dud on court

James scored 25 in a ideal first half, and the Celtics made just enough shots to force him to continue mauling them on both ends of the floor in the second.

James also ran his National Basketball Association record of consecutive playoff series with a road win to 29 as the Cavs grabbed the home-court advantage they appeared to have frittered away to the Celtics at the end of the regular season.

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers have become a juggernaut in the playoffs and they handled the Celtics 117-104 in the opener of the Eastern Conference finals.

The Cavaliers and Celtics will face off in Game 2 on Friday, May 19 at TD Garden.

Two years later, he returned with Miami to Boston, scored 45 points in Game 6 of the conference finals, forced a Game 7 and led the Heat to the first of two straight titles.

That group effort has allowed guard Kyrie Irving and forward Kevin Love to take their share of the load off James and play swarming support defense against top rival scorers, forcing shots from players unaccustomed to carrying the task of point production.

Oh, and there's extra motivation for Cleveland - now 9-0 in these playoffs - which could earn another long rest if it makes quick work of the Celtics.

- For Cleveland's LeBron James, there was history.

"I think we'll have to adjust a little bit", Stevens said. "I know I'll feel far better going into Game 2". I know Kyle [Korver] had three or four very, very good looks that he missed when we had a good stretch.

Kevin Durant added 25 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, while Stephen Curry had 23 points, seven assists and played smothering defense as Golden State stayed unblemished through six playoff games. Good luck with that Boston. "It's all easier said than done, but we've got to figure out our best avenue quickly".

The Celtics needed a burst of the bench after the first seven minutes, but they got nothing.

"We can't panic", Thomas said.

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue also commented on James' performance and said, "He's playing at a high level". The margin reached 12, but Wall roared from there with all 14 of his first-half points coming in the second quarter. But look for James to whip his team into shape ahead of Game 2, where it is likely that Cleveland will come away from Boston with a 2-0 series lead.

For Boston, Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder were the scoring leaders with 21 each, and they were followed by Isaiah Thomas' 17 and Al Horford's 11. Kelly Olynyk, the MVP of Game 7 against the Wiz on Monday night, was a no-show with two points after 26 points two nights earlier.

Thomas said he was not surprised by anything he saw from the Cavaliers. If he plays the way he did last night, the Celtics are in huge trouble. But he has to see bodies behind me. This one, folks, was a shellacking from the get-go. LeBron James, who did not have a great shooting game, misses the three and Tristan Thompson swims past Al Horford easily and then skies over Avery Bradley for an offensive board.

Conversely, James has shown an ability to completely stifle Thomas on the defensive end. It's a luxury not lost on Lue.

TT: Tristan Thompson had a big game with 20 points and 9 rebounds. "The coaching staff and my teammates do a great job of putting me in a position to succeed, and I just try to come through for them every night".