Monday, 18 December, 2017

James, Love help Cavaliers rout Celtics in Game 1 of East finals

Credit Matt Stone          DOWNER Al Horford Marcus Smart and Isaiah Thomas watch as time runs out on their Game 1 loss to the Cavs Credit Matt Stone DOWNER Al Horford Marcus Smart and Isaiah Thomas watch as time runs out on their Game 1 loss to the Cavs
Rita Gibson | 19 May, 2017, 18:01

The Cavaliers have come to Boston and snatched away a strong 117 - 104 victory in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, showing no signs of rust.

The final score, a mere 13-point victory for the Cavaliers isn't actually representative of how lopsided this matchup was in almost every facet of the game, as Cleveland beat the living spirit out of Boston to take a 1-0 lead in the series. The Celtics shooting picked up and they recorded five three-pointers on nine attempts.

Thomas had 17 points and 10 assists tonight, but he looked out of his depth in a way he hasn't throughout the playoffs.

"I just think that they were the more aggressive team with more energy, and they got us down from the beginning", said Celtics center Al Horford, who had 11 points and eight rebounds.

And if the Celtics don't play any better than they did in the first half of the opener, that could be it.

-James marked his 7th straight game with at least 30 points.

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So much for the layoff hurting the Cleveland Cavaliers. "Seriously?" he said. "We had like two weeks to get ready and now at the last second it turns out Kelly Olynyk has the ability to make shots and get rebounds and stuff?"

When James plays like that it is hard to imagine anything being good enough to beat him, and with Love and Kyle Korver getting wide open on a regular basis, with Tristan Thompson being predictably dominant on the offensive glass, its not a surprise at all that the Cavaliers dominated wire to wire.

"You can't dig yourself in a big hole like that against them", Boston coach Brad Stevens said. Cleveland had 22 points in the paint in the first, and James scored 15 in the first quarter alone.

-Boston suffered their first lost at home since Game 2 in the opening series of the playoffs against the Chicago Bulls. "We did a lot to push it to seven games against that team". Green is another player who can guard multiple positions and add length and athleticism to Boston's defense.

Maybe Thomas and the C's will have more luck Friday night in Game 2.

This is the Tristan Thompson series: On this team, and in the reality that is the National Basketball Association, there's really no such thing as a Thompson series when your teammate happens to be at worst the second-best player in National Basketball Association history. Plenty of those rebounds; especially their offensive ones, came during "garbage time" of the game in the late 4th when the Cavaliers put on deep bench players Derrick Williams, Dahntay Jones and even the birthday boy himself; Channing Frye who was restricted to the bench for most of this game only playing for just over 3 minutes, due to the standout performance from Tristan Thompson and Ty Lue's smart decision to keep taking advantage of his hustle. The teams are a combined 19-0 in this postseason, the first time two teams ever started one playoff year 9-0. The Celtics finished 12 of 38 (31.6 percent) from long distance, while the Cavs were 11 of 31 (35.5 percent).

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