Thanks in part to his four three-pointers, Love accounted for 21 points and registered a double-double by corralling 12 rebounds, including three on the offensive end of the floor.
Offensively, the Cavaliers found their rhythm first and rode the momentum to a 9-2 advantage over the first four-plus minutes of the game thanks to the three-point shot. C's guards Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley combined to shoot 2-for-10 in the quarter.
But against the Celtics, you would think they had a team of Kawhi Leonards or something the way they absolutely stone-walled Boston at every turn. "We put ourselves in a hole early". The Cavaliers lead the best-of-seven series 2-0 after Friday's 130-86 triumph at TD Garden.
Losing the first quarter, especially by double-digits, is incredibly hard to recover from against a Cavs squad arguably playing its best basketball of the season.
The Boston Celtics improved on a historically bad first half Friday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Irving more than doubled his Game 1 total of 11 points with 23 by knocking down eight of his 11 attempts, including three three-pointers.
In Game 1, LeBron commented that he felt neither he nor the team played that well.
After Celtics coach Brad Stevens finished detailing the hip injury that leaves Isaiah Thomas questionable moving forward and after he tried to explain how his team had just endured the most lopsided loss by a No. 1 seed in National Basketball Association history, Stevens was asked where the Celtics go from here.More news: Dollar heads for worst week in over a year amid political uncertainty
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Boston needs a playmaker who can score, find teammates and maybe most important, give Boston a player besides Thomas who can create their own shot off the dribble or get the ball in the hands of teammates for easy shots based on his ability to attack a defense and force them to collapse. "I think we can still pull this off". We still haven't done that.
"We got our (butt) kicked". But the Celtics made one other change in the opening twelve minutes that blew this game wide open.
Pardon the sarcasm and gallows semi-humor, but it's about all there is to work with during the disheartening aftermath of the Cavaliers' systematic and cruel dissection of the Celtics in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
As a team the Cavs were 19 of 39 from the 3-point line.
Still, it was the Celtics' worst home playoff loss ever. Maybe Golden State can figure out a way to slow him down, or San Antonio if it can come back in the West.
- Jumping out to huge leads on the Celtics hasn't been a problem for the Cavs this season.
The Cavaliers jumped out to a 32-18 lead after the first quarter, but things were just getting started. Tyronn Lue kept the starters on the court for the vast entirety of the first three quarters, setting up the lead to a unforgiving 50 points in the third, and then eventually resting the Big 3 in the 4th after their phenomenal performance scoring 74 points between the three of them.
As complimentary as Stevens was of the Cavs after the series opener, he didn't believe a defeatist attitude would creep into the Celtics' minds.