Boston cruise to 1-0 lead
All the chat from the Boston camp in the days leading up to Game 1 surrounded how the Celtics planned on stopping LeBron James.
Marcus Morris went so far as to claim he is “probably the best guy defending him in the league, outside of Kawhi.”
After the Celtics 108-83 thumping over James’ Cavs, it’s fair to say Morris may have been onto something.
Boston opened up the Eastern Conference Finals in spectacular fashion, jumping out to an 18-point lead at the end of the first quarter and extending their lead to 26 at the half.
The two sides were polar opposites for the majority of Game 1; the Celtics shooting 51.2 percent from the field while the Cavaliers hit just four-of-26 three pointers, unable to buy a bucket for stretches in the first half.
Jaylen Brown paced the Celtics with 23 points and eight rebounds but it was Al Horford’s 20 points, six assists and two blocks that led the home side.
Horford scored on his first seven field goals, beating Kevin Love multiple times down low and on the perimeter as the Celtics took the advantage and didn’t look back.
Morris added 21 points and 10 rebounds to go along with his defensive job on LeBron, helping the Celtics cruise to a 25-point victory in Game 1.
The series opener couldn’t have gone much worse for the Cavaliers, the only highlight for the visitors coming postgame when LeBron rattled off a string of plays that occurred at the start of the fourth quarter that all but ended any chance the Cavs had.
It was that kind of night for the reigning conference champions.
James finished with just 15 points, shooting five-for-16 from the field and recording seven turnovers, while Love scored a team-high 17 but also shot poorly, hitting just five-of-14 from the field.
The Cavaliers aren’t stressed however, having been in a similar position in their first-round matchup following a blowout loss against Indiana in Game 1 of that series.
“I have zero level of concern at this stage… you get better throughout the series,” James stated.
“We have another opportunity to be better as a ball club coming in Tuesday (Wednesday in Australia) night, and we’ll see what happens.”
The Cavs will look to take home court advantage and level the series 1-1 in Game 2, which starts at 10:30am Wednesday AEST.