CLEVELAND -- LeBron James predicted prior to the start of these playoffs that in order for the Cavaliers to succeed, the Big Three would all have to play well. It took a little while for one of them to get going, but ultimately they all shined.
Guard Kyrie Irving scored 30 points in his postseason debut, including making his first five 3-pointers, and forward Kevin Love had 19 points and 12 rebounds after a sluggish start in the Cavs’ 113-100 Game 1 victory Sunday against the Boston Celtics. James had a steady 20 points, seven assists and six rebounds in his first step toward a potential fifth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals.
Love missed his first four shots in his playoff debut – he missed the rim on three of them – and struggled to shoot 2 of 11 in the first half before erupting in the third quarter. Love had eight points and six rebounds within the first 7 1/2 minutes of the third and the Cavs outscored the Celtics 16-4 during a five-minute stretch to take command of the game.
The Celtics scored 14 consecutive points later in the third to draw within 82-76, but James Jones’ buzzer beater at the end of the third quarter pushed the lead back to 91-76 entering the fourth. It was the second time the Cavs dropped a 3-pointer at a quarter buzzer after Irving ended the first half with a 3-pointer.To read more or comment...
Cavaliers 113, Celtics 100. Final.
The Cavaliers maintained a double-digit lead the entire fourth quarter and defeated the visiting Boston Celtics 113-100 in a first round game at Quicken Loans Arena. There was no notable run in the final 12 minutes. Kyrie Irving finished off his NBA playoff debut with 30 points, three rebounds and two assists for the Cavaliers. Irving had a nifty 3-point play with 7:16 to go in the fourth quarter when he converted a jumper, was fouled and then made the free throw. LeBron James finished the day with 20 points, eight assists and six rebounds. Kevin Love totaled 19 points, 12 rebounds and four assists. Isaiah Thomas paced Boston with 22 points, 10 assists and five rebounds. Evan Turner and Kelly Olynyk both finished with 12 points for the Celtics. Marcus Smart, Brandon Bass and Jae Crowder all scored 10 points for the Celtics. Tristan Thompson added in 12 points and six rebounds for Cleveland, J.R. Smith scored nine points, James Jones scored eight points, Iman Shumpert scored seven points and Timofey Mozgov scored six points.
Points: Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers) 30.To read more or comment...
Cavaliers 91, Celtics 76. Three quarters complete.
The Cavaliers put together a 7-0 run to lead 71-58 with 8:29 to go in the third quarter following a basket from Timofey Mozgov, a 3-pointer from Kyrie Irving and a bucket from LeBron James. The Cavs lead grew to 82-62 with 4:33 to go in the quarter following a 9-0 spurt that featured a 3-pointer from Iman Shumpert, a dunk from Tristan Thompson and a layup and two free throws from Kevin Love. Boston responded with a 14-0 run to cut its deficit to 82-74 with under two minutes to go. Marcus Smart, Brandon Bass, Isaiah Thomas, Jonas Jerebko and Jae Crowder provided a spark for the Celtics, but the Cavs remained composed and ended the quarter on a 9-0 run. James Jones capped the quarter by swishing a 3-pointer.
Points: Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers) 25.To read more or comment...
Cavaliers 62, Celtics 54. Halftime.
The Celtics held a 37-29 lead early in the second quarter, and then the Cavaliers got going at both ends of the court and went on a 24-7 run to lead 53-44. Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, J.R. Smith, Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love were huge during the surge as Cleveland took a 62-54 lead into halftime. James had a big dunk during the quarter that excited the home crowd at Quicken Loans Arena, and then Irving capped the quarter with a 3-pointer at the buzzer as the fans went wild. Irving has 20 points at halftime, James has 13 points and Smith and Thompson both have nine points. Isaiah Thomas has 13 points at halftime for Boston and Kelly Olynyk has 10 points.
Points: Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers) 20.To read more or comment...
Celtics 31, Cavaliers 27. One quarter complete.
Each team came out slow offensively, but scoring picked up as the first quarter progressed. The lead changed hands, but the score was tied at 11-11 and 22-22. Reserve Kelly Olynyk scored 10 points to lead the Celtics and reserve Isaiah Thomas scored six points. Boston starters Tyler Zeller (six points) and Evan Turner (five points) also made an impact. Kyrie Irving paced the Cavaliers in the quarter with eight points and J.R. Smith added in six points. LeBron James and Tristan Thompson both scored five points for Cleveland.
Points: Kelly Olynyk (Celtics) 10.To read more or comment...
INDEPENDENCE: The Cavaliers will enter the playoffs as favorites to win a championship and heavy favorites to eliminate the Boston Celtics quickly, but LeBron James isn’t concerned about the Cavs dismissing the Celtics too quickly.
“There will be no overlooking Boston, no matter what the records are,” James said. “Everyone’s 0-0 when you get to this point, so our whole game plan right now is giving ourselves a chance to win the game.”
James’ history is proof he means it. His teams are 24-3 during first rounds the last six years and none of those series have extended beyond five games. The Celtics went 40-42 during the regular season and enter Sunday as 11-point underdogs.
The Cavs begin these playoffs as the heavy favorites to win the East, according to the online gambling site Bovada, and tied with the Golden State Warriors at 11/5 odds to win their first championship in franchise history.To read more or comment...
Akron Beacon Journal and Ohio.com Cavs beat writer Jason Lloyd looks ahead to the start of the NBA Playoffs. Beginning on Sunday the Cleveland Cavaliers face a familiar foe in the Boston Celtics. Should anything about Boston scare Cleveland? Will this series be a sweep? On this week's podcast, Jason explains why the Cavs, led by LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, are playing at their peak at the exact right time.
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