ShareThis Page
Nation, World Sports

Celtics survive 42-point night by LeBron James, down Cavs

| Tuesday, May 15, 2018, 11:30 p.m.
Marcus Morris #13 of the Boston Celtics reacts with teammates on the sideline in the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers during Game Two of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on May 15, 2018 in Boston.
Getty Images
Marcus Morris #13 of the Boston Celtics reacts with teammates on the sideline in the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers during Game Two of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on May 15, 2018 in Boston.
Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris hangs from the rim after dunking against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first half in Game 2 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals Tuesday, May 15, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris hangs from the rim after dunking against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first half in Game 2 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals Tuesday, May 15, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Jaylen Brown scored 23 points and the Boston Celtics withstood a 42-point night by LeBron James to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 107-94 on Tuesday and take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.

Terry Rozier added 18 points, while Al Horford finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Boston improved to 8-0 this postseason at TD Garden. The Celtics have never blown a 2-0 series lead in the playoffs.

James added 12 assists and 10 rebounds. He scored 21 of Cleveland's 27 points in the first quarter , tying his playoff career high for points in a period. His 42 points marked his fifth 40-point game of this postseason. James had just 15 points and missed all five of his 3-point attempts in the Cavs' Game 1 loss.

But he didn't seem to play with the same force after straining his neck in a first-half collision and the Cavaliers wilted in the second half, with the Celtics outscoring them 59-39.

Kevin Love finished with 22 points and 15 rebounds for Cleveland.

As expected, Tristan Thompson started in place of Kyle Korver in the hopes his presence could energize what was a sluggish Cavs offense in Game 1. Thompson got Cleveland's first basket of the night and helped to limit Horford's effectiveness on the inside early on.

Korver added 11 points off the bench for Cleveland. But starters Thompson, JR Smith and George Hill combined for just 11 points on 5-of-17 shooting.

Tempers flared with 3:49 to play with Boston leading 97-89. Marcus Morris got in Smith's face after Smith pushed Horford in the back to prevent a layup. Smith shoved Morris and the pair had to be separated.

Smith was assessed a flagrant foul and both received technical fouls.

Boston's balanced attack was effective again, with six players reaching double figures. Cleveland had 15 turnovers leading to 13 Boston points. The Celtics turned it over just six times.

Boston led 84-77 after three quarters and took command late in the fourth with the Cavs getting little offense other than from James. Cleveland's starters were pulled with 1:48 left and the Cavs down 14. They sat more than seven minutes to conclude Game 1.

James was on the attack from the opening tip. He turned the ball over the Cavs' first possession. But it was one of his only miscues in the first quarter.

James was also astoundingly efficient, using his dribble to create space, while he knocked down an assortment of jump shots.

He finished the opening quarter 8 of 13 from the field and 4 of 7 from the 3-point line.

His momentum was stunted briefly at the 3:50 mark of the second quarter, when Tatum was whistled for a foul after catching James jaw with his shoulder as he attempted a steal. James stayed in the game and connected on one of his ensuing free throws, but then exited to the locker room with Cleveland leading 47-36.

The Cavaliers said James had a neck sprain. He returned after missing less than two minutes of game time.

Boston flurried just before the half, getting six points from Morris in the final minute to trim Cleveland's lead to 55-48 at the break.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me