James, Love help Cavs beat Celtics 117-104 in Game 1

Doug Mendoza
May 20, 2017

LeBron James offered a rather ominous comment after his Cleveland Cavaliers won the opener of the Eastern Conference finals Wednesday night. The Cavaliers won 117-104.

James scored at will in the first half and the Cavs built a 26-point lead.

The reigning NBA Champions, the Cleveland Cavaliers, will take on the Boston Celtics in the 2017 NBA Playoffs for the Game 2 of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals series on Friday, May 19, at 8:30 p.m.at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

The win was the Cavaliers' 12th in a row in the playoffs (one shy of matching the National Basketball Association record, set by the 1988-89 Los Angeles Lakers), dating back to last year's Finals, while the Celtics' five-game home playoff winning streak was stopped.

BOSTON (AP) - LeBron James did pretty much whatever he wanted to against the Celtics in the Cavaliers' dominating win in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. Love opened up the floor for James, burying outside jumpers and forcing Boston to leave defenders one-on-one with James. He is 12-0 in his Cleveland career against Horford.

James Delivers Knock Out PunchCleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) drives towards Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk (41). "We felt like we did a good job doing that", Love said. I think now that they are back in game mode, they should continue to roll. I think that has allowed me to be comfortable out there on the floor, knowing that my mindset is really there, still being aggressive and making plays, as I mentioned, whether those are showing up or not. He also had nine rebounds and seven assists. Good luck with that Boston.

"We have a great opportunity to take command of the series", James said.

"There's gonna be some adjustments made from both sides", James said Thursday. "We have to be ready for it", he said.

"They were the better team tonight".

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James was, well, James in Game 1. It was no coincidence that the last time he played a postseason game in Boston was the first round of 2015, when he suffered a year-ending shoulder injury after a controversial play involving Celtics big man Kelly Olynyk, who was accused of committing a dirty play to injure the power forward. He only scored 11 points on the night.

"I believe in these guys", Celtics star Isaiah Thomas, 28 said after practice on May 18. He also had a team-high four turnovers - another red flag for Boston's prospects.

"They are getting out running and getting easy scores. and they are moving the ball so well", he said. "They played how they played throughout the season".

"I have to be in attack mode, just put the pressure on the defense, see what happens".

Conversely, James has shown an ability to completely stifle Thomas on the defensive end.

And even if Thomas can rediscover his shot, he will need more scoring help against the Cavs' Big Three.

"Any given night, it could be Kyrie, could be LeBron, could be Kevin, Korver, J.R. (Smith), Tristan (Thompson)", Lue said. "We have to expect that and understand there might be dirty plays and cheap shots or whatever coming from the other side". "We have to do our best fixing it up appropriately without overdoing it and make sure we try to do our best to keep him in front".

So, with James maybe 100 percent, and more options waiting in the wings, the Celtics indeed face an uphill challenge.

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