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Celtics push LeBron, Cavs into 0-2 hole

16 May 2018

LeBron James, destroyer of worlds.

It was clear from the start that it wasn't James's afternoon.

Smart's 3-pointer with 4:34 left in the third quarter gave the Celtics a 72-71 lead after they had trailed by 11.

That was it. That's when the Cavaliers transformed from a team closing in on another shot to steal a game the way they did against Toronto and in to a team that could sense a second straight loss.

In the opening stanza, the Cavaliers led for almost all of it - taking a double-digit lead in the first quarter and led by as many as 11 late in the second quarter.

Things started off great for the Cavs, as LeBron James took over in the first quarter, scoring 21 points over the first 12 minutes of action.

Knowing how the Celtics play and how they hunt matchup advantages, this was a decision point for the Cavs coaching staff in the run up to the series. "Just do what you're supposed to do, do it as hard as you can and as well as you can and let the chips fall where they may". Easier said than done.

I'm not sleeping on the Celtics.

"We've got to be tougher". "That 12 minutes in the third quarter, that killed us".

"Yes", he said, "I think so".

For Boston it was another team effort, with Jaylen Brown leading the way with 23 points, seven rebounds, and three assists. It's not just me. James, who said he had "zero level of concern at this stage" after Game 1, is certainly reconsidering things this time around. He's obviously the best player in the game, and you need multiple guys and a team to guard him for an entire game. To think, they're only scratching the surface of what they can become.

He's the best player, you know?

Griffin served as Cleveland's general manager until last June, when he was unable to come to a new contract agreement with team owner Dan Gilbert. I mean, LeBron is LeBron. "It's what makes us the best team that we can be". "We have each other's backs". Kyle Korver, people like that, so we have to take that away, too. "You can say we don't have experience, but at the same time we have nothing to lose". It was a well-orchestrated game defensively.

Cleveland will look to avoid a two-game deficit as the series heads to Cleveland later this week. We have to be ready for that. Trying to do so against a hungry squad like the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals is entirely something else. So, I mean, what are we going to wait for? "We moved on to the next play way and we locked in after that". That's what we did. "It's just now he's getting the opportunity to show it, and it's a lot of fun to see him just grow continually game by game". Our whole life we've been fighting bigger opponents than us.

The Celtics are the youngest remaining team in the playoffs and the Cavs are the oldest.

Celtics push LeBron, Cavs into 0-2 hole