Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Sport | By

Aron Baynes and the Celtics stomp on Cleveland in Game 1

Aron Baynes and the Celtics stomp on Cleveland in Game 1

How has a Celtics group that's so young and should have so much room to grow defied the odds and continued to climb the playoff ladder?

Following Tuesdays contest, the teams head to Cleveland and get a mini break before Game 3 on Saturday night. Evgeny Kuznetsov and Lars Eller each had a goal and two assists to lead the Capitals offense, and the series now moves to the nation's capitol with Tampa in desperate need of a win for game three.

Or LeBron James, who turned 33 in December and proceeded to suit up in all 82 regular season games for the first time in his 15-year career; he's now enduring perhaps his most statistically impressive and stunningly dominant playoff run to date.

James finished with 42 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists on 16-of-29 shooting, with 21 of those points coming in the first quarter.

James and Love - who had yet to be asked a question in the postgame press conference - proceeded to burst into laughter. That's three more points than the Cavaliers scored as a team in the first quarter of Game 1.

"But I don't think it - it didn't affect my game after that", James said. The Cavaliers showed more energy in Game 2 - in spurts, anyway - but were overmatched by Boston's poise.

He knows the James-led Cavaliers will hit back hard in Game 2 on Wednesday from 10.30am (AEST). On either end of the floor.George Hill and JR Smith have scored THREE points in a combined 53 minutes tonight...

They don't call Terry Rozier "Scary Terry" for nothing.

Then again, the man posted his 24th playoff game of his career with at least 40 points (and fifth this postseason), and extended his National Basketball Association record of playoff games with at least 40 points and 10 assists to five.

21 - While Green struggled in his 28 minutes, Kyle Korver, who had a hot hand early and often, had just 21 minutes off the bench.

Thompson ended the night with figures of 8 points, 7 rebounds and a team-high +/- of -5 among the Cavs' starters. What's insane is most of his points in the first were threes (he had four in the quarter).

Boston, which improved to 9-0 at home this postseason, has never lost a best-of-seven playoff series when leading 2-0. It was their first lead since they were up 3-2 only 49 seconds in.

James retreated to the locker room with 3:50 remaining in the second quarter after he collided with Boston's Jayson Tatum and was fouled.

But he didn't seem to play with the same force after straining his neck in a first-half collision and the Cavaliers wilted in the second half, with the Celtics outscoring them 59-39. That must improve going forward.

And judging the way that the Celtics beat up on the Cavs in Game 1, some would argue that Auerbach's spirit was with them on Sunday, too.

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