If they double-team James, that will just lead to more open threes for players like Kyle Korver and Kevin Love. The Cavs stumbled into the playoffs losing their final four games in the regular season.
The Cavs front court starters dominated the Celtics, 90-32. He led a bench unit that had both James and Irving on the bench to start the second quarter and was able to actually extend the lead (by one, but still).
James had 38 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.
Boston scrapped, got chippy and got physical, but couldn't claw its way back from a 61-39 halftime deficit.
Throughout the first part of the third quarter, it was the same story, with Washington still clinging to a four-point lead with just over four minutes to go in the frame.
"Double T [was] phenomenal", James said after the game.
During the post-game interview, James was asked on what made Cleveland prevail on the road and he responded "Energy and our defensive intensity".
Out of the gate, the speed, athleticism, and power was on a different level for the Celtics, who floundered in the first quarter and only found their footing on occasion. Tyronn Lue was playing for the Atlanta Hawks. How much better could he get?
Any hope the Boston Celtics might have had to make the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals a competitive series died Wednesday night.
"We've got to help each other", said Brown.
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.
Isaiah Thomas, like many others, struggled offensively.
Cleveland swept past IN and Toronto IN the opening rounds and could match last year's 10-0 playoff start, one shy of the best IN National Basketball Association history, with another road triumph.
The Celtics showed some fight and made a late push to make the game respectable. The good news is that the Celtics have more talent that was not seen in that terrible first half.
There were a number of times when Love simply drifted to the corner and waited for a pass that often didn't come, and he sometimes disappeared from games if he didn't get involved in the offense early on. The Cavs had a long wait to play Game One as they finished the series with Toronto on May 7. "He did a good job of carrying the load". The Cavaliers had a higher field goal percentage, a higher 3-Point percentage, a higher Free Throw percentage, more Free Throws attempted, collected more rebounds and had more steals, blocks and points off turnovers than the Celtics. He was just 7 of 19 from the floor, 2 of 7 from 3-point range.
In the second quarter, Wizards forward Kelly Oubre ran into Celtics center Kelly Olynyk on what was an illegal screen (and was called as such). And that includes Kyrie Irving who had 11 points. Outside of Tristan Thompson, who dropped 20, the rest of the Cavaliers weren't a factor. He also had nine rebounds and seven assists. According to NBA.com/Stats, LeBron has 56 isolation possessions under his belt this postseason, seventh most of any player in the playoffs.
James was undercut in midair while driving to the rim early in the fourth quarter and took a hard tumble to the floor. "It's all about winning".
"He came through for us", James said. If Game 2 plays out the same way, the Celtics will find themselves in a 2-0 hole. The hit us first. Just two seasons ago, Kelly Olynyk, a current forward for Boston, yanked Kevin Love's shoulder out which crushed the Cavaliers finals dreams that year.
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