CelticsBlog asked Horford what Boston has to do in Game 3 to stay true to their identity while handling the Cavs physicality.
Boston actually avoided a very early knockout punch from Cleveland.
The Celtics suffered their worst home play-off loss in franchise history, and were only three points shy of matching their worst postseason defeat.
The Celtics, after all, did lose the first two games at home to Chicago in the first round and recovered to win the series in six games.
Thomas has been tortured all series, with the Cavs defense honing in on him to clog the Celtics' offensive flow. What he couldn't see was James galloping down the court like a cheetah hunting a wounded calf.
It was the biggest playoff win ever for the Cavaliers, who now have the luxury of hosting games three and four in Cleveland. His dominant 30 points, on 12-18 shooting, seven assists, four rebounds and three blocks served as quite the response to being left off the shortlist for MVP finalists. The point guard began limping late in the second quarter before sitting out the second-half after the Cavs stormed to a National Basketball Association playoff-record, 41-point halftime lead en route a 130-86 beat down. The only things of note for the Celtics were negatives. I hope not. I mean they're a good team, they play hard.
"I think the best part about it from all of our standpoints was how inspiring it's been to have a guy that's done all this and accomplished all this and is willing to literally go out and leave it all out there", Stevens said. I've been going to war with these guys all year, so I know everybody else is going to have their A-game as well.
Thomas has been diagnosed with a femoral-acetabular impingement which affects the ball joint in the hip socket. The damage had been done.
This series was over after Game 2.
"We have to play a lot better", he said.
Still, there was no answer.
"It's honestly just embarrassing", guard Avery Bradley said. "I thought the first half he was really hurting, really didn't have any bounce, didn't have any push. But no way are we getting overconfident just by winning one game".
With Cleveland leading by 38 in the third quarter, Cavs forward J.R. Smith mocked some Boston fans by pretending to sweep a broom across their famous parquet floor.
"We got our ass kicked".
LeBron James hit an individual mark as well. "I think we can still pull this off". We had a few bad turnovers offensively. "He gave us everything he had". "That should be as good as it gets".
We can basically consider this series over, right? "But we like where we're headed and the direction we're headed right now".
When Boston's players entered their locker room after the final buzzer they were embarrassed and dismayed, but in no way did they feel the urge to hang their heads and bow out. 140 points? More than 25 made threes?
Whatever they do, LeBron will want more.
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