Celtics outmuscle Cavs to take 2-0 lead
LeBron James scored 21 points in the first quarter. The King went on to scored 42 points in total while adding 12 assists and 10 rebounds.
It wasn’t enough.
Boston’s 107-94 win in Game 2 showed the gulf between the Eastern Conference’s two remaining teams and puts the Celtics within reach of its first NBA Finals appearance since 2010.
The Cavaliers, led by its superstar, started strongly and looked a different team from the one that served up a poor Game 1.
‘King James’ came out firing, hitting four three-pointers and shooting eight-of-13 from the field in the first quarter alone.
Despite his best efforts, the Cavs were up by just four at the first break.
Kyle Korver scored all 11 of his points in the second quarter as James cooled off, finishing the half with 25. A late Celtics run gave the home side the momentum entering the main break, cutting a double-digit deficit to just seven at the half.
As has been the story for the Cavaliers these playoffs, a poor third quarter haunted them once again and turned a seven-point lead into a seven-point deficit.
‘Scary Terry’ Rozier, who had been as quiet as a ghost in the first half scoring just two points, exploded in the third quarter and scored 14 points.
His second three-pointer in the third gave the Celtics their biggest lead of the quarter and heaped more pressure on the faulting Cavs.
The Celtics maintained their strong play in the fourth to run out 13-point winners, holding the Cavaliers to just 17 points.
Jaylen Brown led the way for the series leaders with 23 points as six Celtics scored double figures.
Despite a strong start to the first half, Cleveland couldn’t find their way with just three players scoring in double figures.
Kevin Love backed up James with 22 points and 15 rebounds in a strong Game 2 performance, but that was all the Cavs had as George Hill, Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith (Cleveland’s other three starters) combined to score just 11 points.
Smith was held scoreless, shooting zero-of-7 from the field.
Game 3 shifts to Cleveland as the Cavs look to get back into the series.
Anything but a win would spell disaster for the reigning conference champions and all but end Cleveland’s reign atop the Eastern Conference.