Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Celtics charge to 2-0 lead in conference finals over Cavs

Celtics charge to 2-0 lead in conference finals over Cavs

The last time James trailed 0-2 in the Eastern Conference finals was in 2008 against the Celtics, who would go on to win the National Basketball Association title.

LeBron was magnificent in the first half, scoring 25 points and accounting for 15 shots compared to 18 for the rest of Cleveland's starters.

Unfortunately for the Cavs, games aren't won in the first quarter.

James received an entry pass in the post, took one dribble and hit a fadeaway 3-pointer over Marcus Smart with 3:39 to play in the first quarter.

Things changed in the second half.

They were outscored by 14 points during another forgettable third quarter that flipped a Cavs seven-point lead to that same deficit going into the fourth quarter.

His momentum was stunted briefly at the 3:50 mark of the second quarter, when Jayson Tatum was whistled for a foul after catching James jaw with his shoulder as he attempted a steal.

In the first-round series against the Indiana Pacers, the Cavs struggled offensively. However, Cleveland has a bit more depth than injury-plagued Boston, which is missing Kyrie Irving (knee), Gordon Hayward (foot), Daniel Theis (knee) and Shane Larkin (shoulder).

They would go onto grind out a 14-5 run to tie things up six minutes in at 66-66, before taking their first lead since the 10:38 mark in the first after a Smart three to put the C's up 72-71 with 4:34 left in the third. Of course he came back, but when he came back, I don't think he had the same punch that he had before he left as far as attacking the basket, playing with that force and power we talked about at shootaround.

LeBron James
GETTYLeBron James 42 points were not enough in Game 2

And Smart had this ridiculous finish at the rim. Boston was on top 84-77 entering the fourth quarter.

Smith was assessed a flagrant foul and both received technical fouls. After watching it you might be surprised that it didn't end any worse for either Horford or Smith.

Smith said there was no malicious intent on the play. Marcus Morris got in Smith's face after Smith pushed Horford in the back to prevent a layup.

"We really lean on him", said Brown of Horford.

James added 12 assists and 10 rebounds. No James, who finished with a 40-point triple-double.

That's how the Cavs got to Game 1 of a conference finals with a starting lineup that included Kyle Korver and Kevin Love, two of the weaker defenders at their positions in the league. And Smith finished with zero points on 0-of-7 from the field (0-3 3PT).

Celtics Went 10 of 31 from the 3-point line.

Trying to figure out who the Cavaliers were - while they were incorporating new personnel and navigating what James called three or four different seasons in one - seemed hard.

Boston out-rebounded the Cavs by one. Cleveland is going to go back and make adjustments and they are going to come back and play a lot harder and a lot more controlled in the next game.

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