James powers Cavs in record rout of Celtics
- Author: Julie Sanders May 20, 2017,
May 20, 2017, 21:25
Game 3 is Sunday night.
"LeBron's a good player, but I look at him as just a regular guy to me", Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown said before the game.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been dominant during the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals.
This was the last thing the Celtics needed, with the severity of his injury still being unknown as well as his status for Game 3, this could be the finishing blow to the Celtics Finals hopes. Boston made just 11 shots overall on 41 attempts, and were just 3-for-14 from downtown in the first half. The Cavs have won these two games by a combined 57 points (but were ahead by a combined 78), are shooting 10 percentage points higher than the Celtics with 15 fewer turnovers.
"He's had a nagging hip injury", head coach Brad Stevens said after the game, explaining that Thomas aggravated that injury against Washington. "They just happened to play better than us in Game 1".
Additionally, James pulled down four rebounds, handed out seven assists, stole four passes and blocked three shots over 33 minutes.
Asked how much that hurt his team, Stevens said, "Not 44 points worth". He led the game in scoring with 30 points, and contributed on the defensive end of the floor, notching four steals and three blocks.
Boston didn't cross the 50 point mark until 3:43 in the third quarter when Al Horford hit a three-pointer.
A 13-point lead is certainly not insurmountable for a team like the Celtics.
Love's fourth triple of the first half gave the Cavaliers a 40-point lead, 66-26, with 2:59 to play in the second quarter.
Irving accounted for three of those points, one on a technical free throw and two more on a driving layup.
Cleveland's win in Game 1 was mostly just a two-man operation by the Cavs, as LeBron James and Kevin Love took turns piling up points against a Boston defence that didn't have an answer for either one-on-one.
Heading into the game, James was averaging 34.8 points, 9.0 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game in these playoffs. The Celtics haven't found a way, and they're running out of time. By halftime, the Cavs were up 72-31 and the Celtics were in search mode.