Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers on Course for the Eastern Conference Finals


Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) talks to forward J.R. Smith (5) against the Toronto Raptors in game two of the second round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre.

So dominant was the three-times National Basketball Association champion at times during a stellar second half performance in Game Two of the Eastern Conference semi-finals, it looked nearly as if he was experimenting with hard shots just for the fun of it.

I write this (deadline tyranny, once more), Cleveland was up 114-98 over Toronto in Game 2 of their NBA Eastern Conference semifinals, time down to 6:07.

He claims James has been so keen on refreshing his own body that he's resorted to cupping therapy, something he hasn't used for years.

The Cavs' 128 points scored in Game 2 was their fourth-highest scoring output in any postseason contest (137 vs. GSW on 6/9/17, 135 at BOS on 5/25/17 and 130 at BOS on 5/19/17). Jeff Green drilled four 3s and finished with 14 while George Hill contributed 13.

"I just want the team to get better every game", James said when comparing this Cavs side to previous ones.

But even as Love impressed, James dazzled, confounding Toronto with an array of turnaround jump shots.

"[Lue] sees something out there in me at the five spot, especially on the offensive end", Love said.

That made it 8-0 in playoffs record for Cleveland over Toronto, dating from 2016's 4-2 Cleveland win and 2017's Cleveland 4-0 sweep.

More news: Thunderstorm kills over 100 in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan
More news: Trump slams Mueller, then says he would 'love' to be interviewed
More news: Tories facing carnage in English local elections, poll seen as Brexit barometer

"We've been very successful with Kev at the five", James said. "We can use him in different situations like running wide pin-down [screens] for him like he's a guard and curling him out of corners with bigs guarding him".

"We understand where we're at", he added. "We'll find some answers whether we change the lineup, whatever it is, to keep the offense moving, keep the game moving, and keep the pace going".

"Just needed more effort", Lowry said when asked about the Cavs' killer 37-24 third quarter that put Cleveland up for good.

DeMar DeRozan paced the Raptors and Kyle Lowry added 21. Toronto would be losing before their first shot in the second half. While Boston played well enough to get past the Bucks, the 76ers had much more firepower than Milwaukee.

James was a wrecking ball, just two days after a 26-point triple-double performance that he called "probably one of my worst games of the season".

James is now an nearly lock for a 30-point night in the playoffs, and he's likely give you eight rebounds and nine assists as well.

James averaged 17.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 6.8 assists in the Mavericks' six-game victory over the Miami Heat.

In the fourth quarter and overtime combined, LeBron went only 3-for-15 from the field, the highest number of shots he has missed in the final period or in overtime throughout his playoffs career. But then an 11-4 run by the Celtics put the ball back in Boston's court, 99-95, with four minutes to go.

"That's the story of our season", Tatum said.