LBJ takes over while Celtics come from behind in Game 2 win
LeBron writes a Love song
LeBron James has broken many NBA records since his debut in 2003. His résumé is continually compared to Michael Jordan, and for good reason. Both players are arguably the top-two players in NBA history on the basis of their stats, championships and talent.
But with each playoff series LeBron James advances to, more and more records are falling and the title for ‘best ever’ looks more and more likely to be bestowed upon James when all is said and done.
He now has the most 30-point, 10-assist playoff games (16) and the most 40-point, 10-assist playoff games in NBA history. In his 43 point, 8 rebound and 13 assists Game 2 against the Toronto Raptors, which the Cavaliers handily won 128-110, ‘King James’ was at his best.
From his pinpoint passing (he has 26 assists in the first two games alone) to his seven made fadeaway jump shots (tying for most in a playoff game since 2001/02), James controlled the game and gave Cleveland a real opportunity to sweep the number one seed Raptors for the second year in a row.
Kevin Love had been much maligned for his performances in the first round against Indiana and in Game 1 against the Raptors. 31 points and 11 rebounds later, and it appears as if the All-Star centre is back to his best.
The Raptors led at halftime but had no answers for the deadly duo in the third period; James and Love combined for 24 of Cleveland’s 37 points with James adding six assists as the Cavs showed just how good they can be when firing on all cylinders.
Another 12 points in the fourth quarter wrapped up LeBron’s virtuosic performance as the Raptors looked out of sorts and without answers heading into Game 3.
If they’re to get back into the series, they’ll need to return to the form that saw them top the Eastern Conference with 59 wins and finish in the top-five for efficiency on both the offensive and defensive ends.
If they allow LeBron to continue to play at such a high level then the Raptors will be wiped out all over again.
‘Scary Terry’ spooks 76ers as Celtics lead 2-0
The Boston Celtics were once again the underdogs entering Game 2 against the Philadelphia 76ers, despite winning comfortably in the series opener. The visitors showed why as they came out firing in the first quarter, JJ Redick (23 points) seemingly unable to miss as they led by nine at the first break.
Philadelphia’s lead grew in the second quarter as Robert Covington joined the party, draining two three-pointers, a layup and two blocks on Celtic attempts.
But with less than five minutes remaining, Boston turned it on and got behind their sparks in Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart.
The duo combined for 13 points in the second quarter as the Celtics went on a 22-7 run and went into the half down by just four points.
Smart took the lead after the restart as the momentum was all with the home team, taking a five-point advantage into the final period.
Both sides led at various stages of the fourth quarter as neither side gave an inch, but as he did in Game 1 and in the Celtics series against Milwaukee in the first round, Rozier shined brightest with the game in the balance.
His two threes kept Boston ahead whenever the 76ers looked to counter and gave the underdogs an unlikely 2-0 series lead heading into Game 3 in Philadelphia.
Rozier finished with 20 points and 9 assists, Smart added 19 points and All-Star centre Al Horford, who also helped spark the Celtics second quarter comeback recorded 13 points and 12 rebounds.
The 76ers will need Ben Simmons to get back to his regular season and early postseason form that saw him finish as the favourite for the Rookie of the Year, as he was limited to just one point in 30 minutes.
The Australian has 12 turnovers in the first two games alone, which is almost three steals above his regular season average of 3.4 per contest.