19 May, 2017
The Cavaliers won Game 1 to jump out to a 1-0 series lead and blew Boston out by nearly 30 in Game 3 to make it 2-1 after falling in Game 2.
The Cavs shot 11-for-31 from three-point range as a team and when you factor that into how much of a blowout the game turned into, it doesn't bode well for the Celtics on how the game could have turned out if Irving was hitting shots or if three pointers were falling more for the Cavs.
Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder led the Celtics with 21 points each.
Stat F: LeBron James has played by far his most career playoff games against the Boston Celtics (30 games, 18-12, .600). James scored 25 in a flawless first half, and the Celtics made just enough shots to force him to continue mauling them on both ends of the floor in the second.
With Thompson adding 20 points and grabbing nine rebounds for the Cavaliers, the Boston front line that helped the Celtics get past the Wizards was dominated. The Celtics still had Pierce, Garnett, and Allen on their team, but they were a 4-seed that year and were a few steps slower than they had been two years prior.
The Eastern Conference Finals began in the way everyone looking for some parity feared: LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers mopping the floor with the Boston Celtics and their faux-MVP Isaiah Thomas.
The reigning National Basketball Association champion Cavaliers toyed with the Celtics in last night's 117-104 final at TD Garden.
Head to head, the Cavaliers are 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings in Boston, the road team is 8-2-1 ATS in the last 11 meetings and the under is 6-1 in the last seven meetings in Boston.
After helping to establish his teammates, James went to work on the offensive end of the court, attacking the basket and converting three of his next four shots, which staked the Cavaliers out to a 24-13 advantage over the Celtics with 2:54 left in the period. It included getting within 11 points with less than 2 minutes to play.
Boston also seemed content to make every switch created by Cleveland screens, leading to some awkward matchups for James in the first half.
The Celtics now trail the series 1-0.
The Cavaliers came out in Game 1 and punched the C's right in the mouth. I knew what type of game he was going to have.
The Cavaliers managed to keep Isaiah Thomas in check as he finished with just 17 points and 10 assists. Granted, some of those games also came in the Finals, against an excellent Golden State team, but the difference in efficiency is eye-popping, nonetheless. "You can't dig yourself a hole like that against them". They can put Channing Frye in the game, who is a knock-down shooter. The reason it's scary is because Korver (1 of 6 field goals, all 3-pointers) is not going to have the shooting night that he had tonight very often.
Following the game and understanding the history between these two teams, Tristan Thompson gave a commanding statement on how he will handle the rest of this series. Love, quiet in the Toronto series, scored 32 points against the Celtics. "I have to do a better job of being up to touch on him, being on the ball, making it tough for him".
Two bright spots for Brad Stevens, though, were Jaylen Brown and Gerald Green, who played better than anyone else despite their limited minutes.
"I didn't feel that great", James admitted.
Team Rebounds: 9. Team Turnovers: 8 (9 points). Watching this Boston-Cleveland series is kind of like watching a game of Spades, knowing Boston has a great hand by most standards, only to realize the Cavs are whipping out Aces left and right.