Celtics head soaring back to Cleveland with 2-0 series lead after Game 2 win, 107-94
The Boston Celtics take a 2-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals after another beatdown of the Cleveland Cavaliers, 107-94. LeBron James came to play after a sub-par first game performance as he tallied a triple-double on 42 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds but it wasn't enough.
For the C's, Jaylen Brown led the team with 23 points on 9 of 18 shooting. Al Horford recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds while Marcus Smart had 11 points, 9 assists, and something like a billion of those game winning plays.
LeBron came out of the gates on a mission as he matched a career playoff-high scoring 21 points in the opening quarter. The Celtics managed to take James' best punch in stride though, as they kept pace and only trailed by only 4 points (27-23) after the 1st. It was a one man show early for the Cavs with no one else scoring more than a single bucket. Meanwhile Jaylen Brown helped the C's stay close with 14 points in the opening frame himself.
In the 2nd, Korver got hot for the Cavs and Jayson Tatum carried the C's offense as he knocked down four straight buckets, including this buttery-smooth fadeaway that reminded me of some vintage Paul Pierce cooking:
But LeBron's absence would be brief, as he checked back in just two minutes later. The Celtics did close the quarter strong though with a pair of turnovers and two made baskets that had them trailing by just 7 points at the break, 55-48.
The Celtics rolling got rolling in the 3rd quarter and despite a few missed shots early they were getting good looks where they wanted to with ease. Terry Rozier was the catalyst for jump-starting the offense, and after a Marcus Smart trey gave the Celtics their first lead of the game Scary Terry turned this scramble for a rebound into a thunderous dunk as he left LeBron in the dust on his signature chase-down attempt:
Rozier scored 14 points in the 3rd and the Celtics had reversed the deficit to a 7-point lead heading into the 4th quarter riding a wave of momentum. Despite some poor shooting to start the final quarter the Celtics carried a 8-point lead with 3:49 left in the game, when a JR Smith flagrant foul on a Horford drive riled up Smart enough to cause a major dust up after the play.
The following pair of free-throws, followed by a Horford and-1 that gave the C's their largest lead of the night at 12 points. That exchange would prove too be the icing on the Cavs as the Celtics then ran away with Game 2 as the series shifts back to Cleveland with the C's riding a 2-0 advantage.