BOSTON — The Celtics have successfully defended their home court, beating the Cavaliers 107-94 and winning a ninth straight home playoff game, in the process taking a 2-0 series lead over the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Celts were able to overcome a strong effort from LeBron James, who led the scoring charge for Cleveland with 42 points.
James, who had to leave the game briefly after straining his neck in a collision with Jayson Tatum, paced Cleveland offensively in the first half, scoring 25 points to propel the Cavs to a 55-48 halftime lead.
The Celtics took a lead in the third quarter, with Marcus Morris providing an emotional and scoring lift while Terry Rozier also hit some key shots. Boston led 84-77 entering the fourth.
The execution continued for the Celtics in the fourth quarter, as they never allowed Cleveland to threaten and widened the gap down the stretch.
In the fourth quarter, Cavaliers guard JR Smith commited a flagrant one foul, pushing Al Horford in the back as Horford attempted to dunk the ball. Marcus Smart took offense to the play and began barking at Smith as coaches from both sides took the court to calm things down.
Marcus Smart: "“That’s a dirty shot....This is not the first time JR has done some dirty stuff, especially against us….You keep letting a bully pick on you until you stand up, and that’s what I tried to do." #Celtics pic.twitter.com/ea2fEMMYUO— Chad Amaral (@Chad_Amaral) May 16, 2018
Jaylen Brown led the way offensively for Boston with 23 points. Terry Rozier scored 18 while Al Horford scored 15.
Game 3 is scheduled for Saturday night, May 19 at 8:30pm.
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