Celtics take 2-0 lead


The Cavaliers sagged in the second half, where they were outscored 59-39 and that did not please their coach Tyronn Lue. The Celtics didn't trail by as many points in this one (11) as they did against Philadelphia (22) but it was still impressive.

But in the second half, the Cavaliers crumbled, all that hard work undone by those bad habits - a reminder of the sins that had many questioning this group's ability to win a championship.

James did his best Tuesday in Game 2, notching 42 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists. Still, it added up to a second double-digit loss for the LeBrons, who were blown out in Game 1. After cruising to a 2-0 series lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston is nearing an unlikely trip to the 2018 NBA Finals. The Cavaliers are 17-36 ATS in their last 53 Saturday games, 15-35-1 ATS in their last 51 home games and 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games overall.

Clay Travis thinks that this move by JR Smith was a cheap shot and has no place in the game.

The Cavaliers said James had a neck sprain. Of course he came back, but when he came back I don't think he had that same punch that he had before he left, as far as attacking the basket and playing with that force and power we talked about at shootaround.

"As long as she's fighting I'm going to continue fighting".

"I love it", he said.

While James is trying to run a marathon, the Celtics are treating their offense like a 4 x 100 relay.

The basketball star stayed on court for the first of the free-throws awarded for the foul, which he scored, but then exited to the locker room, walking off in a seemingly dazed state. It shouldn't be surprising to see the Celtics trusting each other more. The Cleveland Cavaliers are averaging 101.2 points on 45.8 percent shooting and allowing 102.8 points on 47.7 percent shooting.

By the time Baynes entered the game with 6:46 remaining in the first quarter, LeBron already had eight points but he was just getting started. Just a couple of months after Cleveland defeated Boston in the Eastern Conference Finals, the two teams agreed to a deal that would send All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving to Boston. They also have a clear coaching advantage with Brad Stevens. Boston has won both games in the series by double digits, and Cleveland appears to be in very serious danger of missing the finals for the first time since James's homecoming. However, he has exacerbated his predicament with dubious decisions. If you take the likely league MVP out of the equation, Houston shot just 40.9 percent from the field and a dismal 28.6 percent from the three-point line in the opening game. The relentless pressure and intensity of the Celtics continued to wear on the Cavs, as Boston were just kicking into gear.

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Smith has repeatedly sabotaged Cleveland's defense with halfhearted switches and lethargic closeouts.

Marcus Smart grew up scrapping for what he needed. He is a minus-23 through two games. Play at home, win at home.

Points Boston scored off Cleveland's 15 turnovers.

Thompson lamented the lack of communication and the abundance of open shots the Celtics generated.

They were a team with mental lapses and a maddening neglect for attention to detail that led to nonstop eye-rolling, finger-pointing and palm-raising.

We got to be tougher mentally and physically.

There are certainly a lot of ways you could describe Baynes as a player. There were five Celtics offensive rebounds, to none for Cleveland. The LeBrons' best hope might be a change of locale.

Because this team has done what traditionally hasn't been done and is two victories away from going to the NBA Finals.

The Celtics have graduated from improbable playoff run to formidable playoff team.