The Cavs, who swept IN and Toronto, will have gone nine days without a game when they take the floor for the opening tip. Mazzulla dropped 39 points in the state championship game that season, and was named the Rhode Island Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior and senior. Play it in a sold-out arena.
It was the Cavs 12th-straight playoff win dating back to last season.
The Cavaliers seized home-court advantage quickly and easily. And for the past seven years or so, he has pretty much dominated in TD Garden in the postseason. "We were able to work on some things offensively, work on some things defensively".
"LeBron did a good job of setting the tone early", Lue said. "You know what their adjustments are for you and you get a chance to learn that on their floor, where the pressure is on them because they have to play well at home". James has scored 30 or more points in 8 of the 9 playoff games this season.
During the post-game interview, James was asked on what made Cleveland prevail on the road and he responded "Energy and our defensive intensity".
It means James and his team-mates have not played for 10 days heading into Wednesday's series opener but the reigning NBA Finals MVP does not believe the lengthy layoff will have blunted Cleveland's edge.
The Cleveland Cavaliers were on the road in game one of the Eastern Conference Finals, but they didn't have much trouble with the Boston Celtics. "When he gets going, the crowd really gets into it, their team gets into it and it opens up a lot of things". He also had nine rebounds and seven assists.
LeBron James says, 'We're a totally different team and they're a totally different team at this point. "Kevin (Love), Kyrie (Irving), everybody else you know is just filling in". We want the mentality of Kevin from Minnesota, but his usage rate doesn't have to be as high as Minnesota.
"He's playing at a high level". James said that was big. "Kev, Double-T, they were phenomenal".
His fears were realized.
In the East, the Boston Celtics and the Chicago Bulls played a physical first-round series that resulted in the Celtics winning four straight games after losing the first two.
Offensively, Boston relies heavily on point guard Isaiah Thomas, who is averaging 25.4 points and 6.5 assists in the playoffs. "They can blitz you from any which way and they're always finding the next threat well". I'm not about to let a player take me out of my element and force me to do something very AAU-ish by retaliating. They did it the same way, too: with good individual efforts from the likes of Smith and Iman Shumpert backed up by frequent and hard traps.
The Cavaliers entered the game as the best three-point shooting team in percentage and makes per game. The Celtics shooting picked up and they recorded five three-pointers on nine attempts.
The start of the seventh playoff series pitting the Cavaliers against the Boston Celtics summons memories of the first. Cleveland's three-point shooting slump didn't last long. Thomas attempted to stop James from barreling his way to the basket for an easy bucket in the fourth quarter, and being just 5-foot-9, he took the brunt of the collision with the 6-foot-8, 250-pound James.
The game was more of the same for the way Cleveland's postseason has been going, but Boston did show signs of life in the second half, sparked by Avery Bradley (21 points), Jae Crowder (21 points), Jaylen Brown (10 points) and Gerald Green (11 points).
Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens commented on the Cavaliers offensive start and said, "I felt like that zapped us on the other end a little bit".
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