Celtics survive James' attack to take 2-0 series lead

Celtics survive James' attack to take 2-0 series lead

By the way, Smith is averaging just two points, two rebounds and an assist per game on 12.5 percent shooting over the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals. Kevin Love was forced to defend the penetration, Cleveland missed a defensive rotation, and Baynes was able to finish a ideal lob to give Boston the lead. His 42 points marked his fifth 40-point game of these playoffs.

"I just looked at it, Al is a defenseless person", Smart said. "I blatantly pushed him".

"It was a good, hard foul".

"That's not the first time J.R. has done some dirty stuff, especially playing against us", Smart said. You keep letting a bully keep picking on you, he's gonna keep picking on you until you finally stand up. "And that's what I tried to do".

The Celtics used a balanced attack as a half dozen players reached double figures. Cleveland had 15 turnovers leading to 13 Boston points. The relentless pressure and intensity of the Celtics continued to wear on the Cavs, as Boston were just kicking into gear. "One of my guys was down, and I took offense to it". Cleveland's starters were pulled with 1:48 left and the Cavs down 14. In what has become a regular theme for the Cavs over the course of the season, confusion once again reigned over their defensive rotations as both James and Love were drawn to the ball handler Smart, who threatened penetration off a Baynes screen. Physical, strong, selfless, committed, just to name a few, but there may not be a better visual explanation than a play that occurred in the first thirty seconds of the second quarter.

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James was also astoundingly efficient, using his dribble to create space, while he knocked down an assortment of jump shots. He almost overcame the rest of his teammates shooting 5-for-20 from the 3-point line.

James briefly exited with 3:48 remaining in the second quarter after being hit in the face by an inadvertent shoulder from Tatum under the basket, but he returned with 1:57 to play in the half. He (James) is one of best players of all time.

The Cavaliers said James had a neck sprain. On the night, Baynes finished with nine points and six rebounds in an extremely important 17 minutes of court time. His first-quarter barrage crescendoed with an utterly absurd, late-clock fadeaway 3-pointer in front of the Cavaliers bench that helped Cleveland open as much as an 11-point first-half lead. I felt like we played great defense, but the foul was called on Al Horford. If history has taught us anything, it's that young people always try to act older, tougher, worldlier than they actually are.

The Cavaliers were outscored 50-42 in the paint after being outscored 60-38 in Game 1. We see that. They're being physical.

Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals series between Boston and Cleveland is scheduled for 10:30am Sunday morning AEST, 20 May 2018. Smith has been locked in defensively throughout the postseason, so Lue is assuming he'll get it together. Feeding off the building momentum, Brown's hustle prevented Thompson from chasing down an offensive rebound, and Terry Rozier broke out the other way to throw down an emphatic tomahawk jam before James could close on a potential chasedown. Eventually, the Celtics closed the game with a 107-94 victory to give them a 2-0 series lead as they head to Cleveland. They're gooning the game up, and we've got to do the same thing.

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