Celtics Take Game 1 Of East Finals, Beating Cavaliers 108-83

14 May, 2018, 18:20 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Gordon Hayward Brad Stevens

That total was not quite enough to lift Cleveland over the Celtics, as Smith and the rest of LeBron James's supporting cast found no more success against Boston's defense than their leader did in a 108-83 defeat. Everybody played their part in guarding him. "We've got a different team, just like they do, and a lot of younger guys". Cleveland pulled within 78-64 entering the fourth quarter, but Boston answered with an 18-4 spurt that sealed Cleveland's fate. The Celtics outscored the Cavs 60-38 in the paint and had a 48-40 edge in rebounds.

Shooting guard Kyle Korver added, "Just one bad game".

Tristan Thompson was more direct in his critique. "They put us in tough situations to turn the ball over".

James finished with 15 points on 5-of-16 shooting with seven rebounds and nine assists.

Still, he showed patience with his assessment.

"I didn't go to college, so it's not March Madness", he said. "He's the best player, you know?" "It doesn't matter how you get it done". He added, "I've been down 0-1".

Perhaps fueling James' confidence, besides all his experience, is the rationalization that it would be hard for the Cavs to play much worse.

The Celtics took the floor to a hype video that began with the broadcast of Hayward's injury in the first quarter of the first game, at Cleveland.

He said his competitive side led him to seek out the challenge of defending James. "It's what makes us the best team that we can be". Just as confident going into a series, no matter if it's an 0-0 series or I'm down 0-1.

Indeed, the Cavaliers shot 1-for-12 on uncontested 3-pointers in Game 1 (8.3 percent) after shooting 45 percent on open 3-pointers this postseason coming into the Eastern Conference finals, according to ESPN Stats & Information. We have a lot of film to look at how they were making us uncomfortable.

"Then, when you win, you're like, 'Oh, you know, you played better.' Physical basketball started from Game 1 of the IN series when IN punched us IN the mouth too, and it's been like that throughout".

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Still, not all the Cavs agreed with James' continued trust in the long ball. We didn't help it by turning the ball over. "We're living and dying with the 3".

James' 979 postseason points against Boston were the most by any player against any opponent in the last 50 years.

Kevin Love led Cleveland with 17 points and added eight rebounds.

Horford made his first seven shots and scored 10, including eight straight, during the 17-0 run that turned a three-point deficit into a 21-7 lead. "So we'll be much better in Game 2". "On both ends of the floor, we didn't play so great. I try to lead them the best way I can, lead by example". They've played extremely well throughout these playoffs.

"We had some great shots early that we didn't make, and it just kind of snowballed from there", Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said postgame. "We're going to go back to the drawing board, find where we can get better on the defensive end and let the offense take care of itself".

"We lost", Lue said. "We weren't as aggressive as we should've been".

"We missed a lot of shots".

In the first round, the Cavs dropped Game 1 98-80 to the Indiana Pacers and rallied to win the series in seven games. "I was out of my rhythm the whole game". But this team's been around this before. "We're very aware we will get a heavyweight punch Tuesday".

In the 24 plays where Morris guarded LeBron, James had 5 points and only attempted six shots.

"For me, Game 1 has always been a "feel out" game for me".

James said the Celtics deserved credit for the defensive strategy they employed against him, which started with Marcus Morris challenging him from outset, limiting him to 2-of-6 shooting in the first quarter as Cleveland fell into a 36-18 hole.

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