The Cleveland Cavaliers continued rolling through competition, dominating the Boston Celtics.
The Cavs pummeled the Celtics in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals Friday night, defeating them 130-84 in Boston and remaining undefeated through the playoffs. Then Friday, shortly before tipoff, the league released the top three finalists for MVP - which will be named at an awards show on June 26 - and James was left off a list that featured Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Kawhi Leonard.
Still, it was the worst home playoff loss ever for the most-decorated franchise in National Basketball Association history.
Kevin Love swished six triples to finish with 32 points and 12 rebounds while Tristan Thompson added 20 and 9 boards. If that carries into next game, the Celtics should play with more aggression and perhaps even up the series.
Isaiah Thomas had just two points and failed to make a shot in the first half from the field before leaving with a hip injury.
Thomas tried to inspire his team early in the second quarter when he was called for a technical foul for arguing a foul call on rookie Jaylen Brown.
"A team going home down 0-2, they're going to come out with a lot of energy, and especially a team like the Spurs who never quits", Green said.More news: Home Europe Man City target pleased with links to club
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LeBron James' teams are 20-0 all time in series that they've held a 2-0 lead, and the way this series has started, that flawless record doesn't seem to be in any jeopardy. The Cavs haven't just won the first two games.
The two points he scored on Friday serve as his lowest total of the season of any game he has appeared in.
"Our guys in the locker room - as hard as it was, because it was tough; tonight was very hard - I saw a group of guys that were sticking together", said Al Horford after the game.
Thomas will be the main man if the Celtics are to get up, but by his lofty standards, it was a quiet one in Game 1.
Boston earned the No. 1 seed by finishing the regular season with the best record in the East. "Obviously, we don't know the exact adjustments, but we know they're going to make adjustments". But nothing seemed to work as Cleveland shared the ball in the half court and made the Celtics pay with transition 3-pointers. "The games is over and we already been embarrassed". Kyrie Irving had just 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting, and usually dependable sharpshooters J.R. Smith and Kyle Korver were a combined 2 for 8 as coach Tyronn Lue used a different second unit to start the second quarter with James resting. Meanwhile the third member of Cleveland's Big Three, Kyrie Irving, got into the act with 23 points on 8-of-11 shooting.
That's why the public clamor for Cleveland to play better mid-season was comical. Sorry Boston fans, this was Cleveland's magnum opus of the season. It even looked at times like Isaiah Thomas was hesitant trying to find seams and opportunities against the Cavaliers. "We weren't fragmenting. Nobody is pointing fingers". So I gotta come out and compete just like he's got to come out and compete.