May 26, 2018

Celtics charge to 2-0 lead over Cavs

16 May 2018, 12:39 | Kristopher Drake

Boston MA USA Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown dunks and scores against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the third quart

Boston MA USA Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown dunks and scores against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the third quart

The Celtics' Aron Baynes, who played under esteemed Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, says there are similarities between the two coaches.

With the Cavaliers trailing 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals, the absence of James could deliver a potentially lethal blow to the team's chances of coming back.

Things fell apart for Cleveland in the third quarter of Game 2.

Al Horford finished with 20 points and six assists, and Jayson Tatum scored 16 for the undermanned Celtics, who reached the East finals without injured stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. It's nearly as if the period of time a player spends in his "prime" has been stretched like a rubber band.

Fourteen of his points came in the first quarter.

The Boston Celtics' experience deficit as compared to their current Eastern Conference opponent, the Cleveland Cavaliers, is well-documented.

"Just as confident going into a series no matter if it's a 0-0 series or if I'm down 0-1", James said.

Whether it was because the Cavaliers made errors or the Celtics just made plays, Boston seemed to do what it needed to do at every juncture.

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Here we are again, watching a surprising Celtics team continue to show the world they can compete with anybody, even the King himself.

Cleveland swept the Toronto Raptors and Boston beat the Philadelphia 76ers in five games to set up a rematch of last year's East finals. "We do have some guys that have been through some of these long playoff series, albeit a lot less of them". The teams below them on that list - Chicago, Indiana, Philadelphia and Phoenix - are a mix of lottery-bound and mid-level playoff squads.

"We just can't allow that to keep happening", Smart said.

James and Brown combined for 35 of the game's first 50 points as the Cavaliers jumped out to a 27-23 lead after one quarter. Brown's 3-pointer with 32.4 seconds left in the second quarter gave Boston its biggest lead of the half at 61-33.

Maybe the Celtics are just too young to get shook or something, but man, this looks like a basketball team that is playing like a group that knows it has nothing to lose.

According to Elias Sports Bureau, James now has three career playoff 40-point triple-doubles. They didn't need to trade him giving the fact that he still had two years left on his contract and they should have worked it out and kept him. "We didn't play well". They attacked us early on.

"Just because we've had less experiences, we really don't dwell on that", he said. "We had some great shots we couldn't make and it snowballed from there".

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