Celtics humble Cavaliers in National Basketball Association playoff series opener

Tristan Thompson predicts LeBron will do 'something legendary' in Game 2

Tristan Thompson predicts LeBron will do 'something legendary' in Game 2

With seven straight NBA Finals berths under his belt, look back at the Eastern Conference teams LeBron James has destroyed over the years.

"I have zero level of concern at this stage", James said after a rare poor playoff outing.

Weren't the Cavaliers supposed to be the barometer of what the Celtics are made of?

Morris is celarly going to be a vital player on both ends in this series, and he could not have done a better job in game one.

He finished with a 42-point triple-double, but Cavs coach Ty Lue believes James didn't have the same "punch" after taking the hit.

James, who took a blow to the jaw from Jayson Tatum's left shoulder in the second quarter and briefly left the game, and Love combined for 64 points. When they did give up the switch, it was with objective and with a plan for how to hold their own against the mismatch, without selling out the defensive scheme to adjust, and also while making the Cavaliers offense work for that switch and use up precious seconds on the shot clock before beginning to work against the mismatch.

The Celtics improved to 9-0 this postseason at TD Garden, where they've routinely fed off the energy of a crowd that keeps upping its ante. Larry Nance Jr. and Aron Baynes went to the floor and grabbed the basketball, but wrestled way beyond what was necessary to force a jump ball.

Afterward, when asked if he was examined for a concussion after leaving the court, James said he was checked for a variety of things and cleared all the tests, allowing for his return.

LeBron James' bounce-back game - The King will be smarting from the discouraging showing he put up in Game 1. He headed there without hesitation.

Thus, with 7:09 left to play-and Boston unreachable like a thoroughbred inches away from winning a horserace-James was told to stay on the bench.

The sequence lit a fuse that had been dampened by the first-quarter offensive barrage of a clearly motivated LeBron James. He's done it on a variety of jumpers, further validating why he looks like a long-term star in the league.

That is exactly why containing LeBron needs to remain the sole priority of the Boston defense and starting five in Game 2. Most people expected a memorable night from James in Game 2.

LeBron was magnificent in the first half, scoring 25 points and accounting for 15 shots compared to 18 for the rest of Cleveland's starters.

Boston led 84-77 after three quarters and took command late in the fourth with the Cavs getting little offense other than from James.

Horford is averaging career-best playoff marks in points per game (17.2) and field-goal efficiency (59.3 percent) and has come up big in clutch moments. The Celtics have never blown a 2-0 series lead in the playoffs. He's come out like a man possessed to start the game. That's 14 quick points in seven minutes in a game Cleveland leads 20-13 midway through the first quarter.

Tuesday's game got physical as the Celtics pulled out all the stops to try and contain James.

And it should nearly go without saying that Lue's new plan is really just one attempted trick.

Coming into the playoffs, Marcus Morris was separating himself as a primary scorer because of all the injuries for the Boston Celtics.

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