On Tuesday at the TD Garden, the Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James had a 42-point triple-double but his side still fell to the Celtics 107-94 as Boston took a 2-0 lead in the National Basketball Association (NBA) Eastern Conference Finals. And it shouldn't be surprising that the Celtics took a figurative haymaker from James and the Cavs early in the game - the same one that has made numerous East teams submit - and not even flinch. Love has bounced back from his slow start to play well but when three guys account for almost 80 percent of the scoring in a game, you're going to be in trouble. "If we win, that's all that matters".
James also delivered 12 assists and 10 rebounds, scoring 21 of Cleveland's 27 points in the first quarter.
In addition, Bayless declined to note how James 21 first-quarter points almost matched the 23 points the entire Celtics squad scored during that period. Rozier has made more 3-pointers (40) than any player in the playoffs. With 4:04 to play in the fourth quarter and the Cavs hanging in, trailing by eight points, Smith launched a contested, hurried 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds on the shot clock - after having dribbled aimlessly for seven-plus seconds while being hounded by Marcus Smart.
Cleveland was up 11 in the final minute of the first half, but Smart assisted on a Morris bucket, then picked off a James feed near midcourt before feeding Morris again to trim the deficit to seven. "I think I'll be fine".
"As long as she's fighting I'm going to continue fighting". "You go out and when you lay everything on the line, at the end of the day, you can live with that", he said. The body language of the Cavaliers was bleak, they give the appearance of a broken squad and if they can't protect home court, they will be. Cavs team-mate Kevin Love added 22 points and 15 boards. LeBron James barely got any help last night. After a 25-point lambasting in the opener, Lue altered his frontcourt by putting Tristan Thompson with the first five and bringing Kyle Korver off the bench. Boston just looked like a team that wanted it more than Cleveland in Games 1 and 2, and while the familiar refrain of "the series doesn't start until the away team wins" looms large, no one is envious of the position the Cavs find themselves in right now.
Tempers flared with 3:49 to play with Boston leading 97-89.
James bounced back from his sub-par game-one performance in a big way. Smith shoved Smart and the pair had to be separated.
"It was a good call", he said. "We have each other's backs".
The play was extremely unsafe, as Smith pushed Horford while he was up in the air. I thought Semi (Ojeleye) did a good job on the couple of possessions he guarded him. It wasn't like I was trying to low-bridge him or something to make sure he didn't get it.
"You didn't get it from anybody", he said.
On a night when Marcus Smart did all the typical Marcus Smart things - diving into the crowd to save a loose ball, standing up for a teammate after a hard foul, making a timely steal when his team needed it most - everyone from his teammates to LeBron James gushed about the impact he has when he's on the court.