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Celtics coach Brad Stevens focuses on rebounding, defensive transition for Game 2 vs. Cavs

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 20, 2015
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Highlights of Celtics coach Brad Stevens' pre-practice press conference Monday at Quicken Loans Arena:

1. Stevens was clearly not happy with the 113-100 loss, even after video review. Asked if the Celtics looked better than he thought, Stevens said, "No. We came up short in a couple of areas a little bit more than I thought. The positive is that hopefully we can improve from it. We're going to have to play a lot better."

2. One thing Stevens will emphasize in Tuesday night's Game 2 is the Celtics' depth. They played 10 men Sunday. "We got a lot of good performances at times from a lot of different guys. The biggest thing is we have to utilize our depth as an advantage," he said.

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Celtics' guard Isaiah Thomas accepts double-teaming, hopes Game 2 'a different story'

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 20, 2015
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Celtics' guard Isaiah Thomas finished second to the Toronto Raptors' Lou Williams in voting for the Kia NBA Sixth Man Award. But Thomas and Celtics coach Brad Stevens said the Cavs paid plenty of attention to the 5-foot-9 sparkplug in Sunday's series opener.

Thomas scored a team-high 22 points, hitting 6 of 14 from the field and 8 of 8 from the free throw line, while adding a game-high 10 assists and five rebounds. He also committed five turnovers.

Asked before practice Monday if Thomas had to produce against the Cavs, Stevens said, "I don't look at it that way. They're going to pay him a lot of attention, so it may be just pressure to make the right basketball play. He did a pretty good job of that yesterday. Whether he scores 20 like he did yesterday or he scores 5, the goal is for our team to get good shots.

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Evan Turner's defense praised; Celtics' Turner says Kyrie Irving 'probably should have had 40'

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 20, 2015
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Evan Turner, the Boston Celtics' 6-foot-7 forward from Ohio State, said he spent most of his day guarding LeBron James in the Cavs' 113-100 victory Sunday.

Before practice Monday at Quicken Loans Arena. Celtics coach Brad Stevens praised Turner's effort.

"He's playing against a pretty good player," Stevens said of Turner's performance. Turner finished with 12 points on 4 of 12 shooting, seven rebounds and five assists. "He wants to play a little bit better than he did yesterday. He's got to continue to be himself, continue to try to make the right basketball play.

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Game 1: Cavs 113, Celtics 100: Jason Lloyd's 33 final thoughts on Big 3, fouls and big performances

By Jason Lloyd Published: April 19, 2015
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CLEVELAND: Thirty-three thoughts for 33 free throw attempts in a 113-100 Game 1 victory Sunday against the Boston Celtics…

1. For all the sniping, tweets, mythical MVP ballots and personality differences between LeBron James and Kevin Love, one thing is clear: James has spent the last few days stressing Love’s importance to this team and then spent Sunday’s first quarter doing his best getting Love involved.

2. It was ugly early, but the end result – 19 points and 12 rebounds – is exactly what James wanted to see from his big man. Love fell a point shy from joining LeBron James and Kyrie Irving with 20-point performances. The Cavs went 7-1 in the regular season when all three stars scored at least 20 points.

MORECavs 113, Celtics 100: Big Three sets the tone, Kyrie Irving scores 30 in playoff debut as Cavs grab 1-0 series lead

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Kyrie Irving scores 30 in playoff debut, Cavs beat Celtics 113-100 for 1-0 series lead

By Jason Lloyd Published: April 19, 2015

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.

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NBA Playoffs: Cavaliers defeat Celtics 113-100 in first round opening game

By Michael Beaven Published: April 19, 2015

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.

Leaders:

Points: Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers) 30.

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NBA Playoffs: Cavaliers lead Celtics 91-76 after three quarters

By Michael Beaven Published: April 19, 2015

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.

Leaders:

Points: Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers) 25.

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NBA Playoffs: Cavaliers lead Celtics 62-54 at halftime

By Michael Beaven Published: April 19, 2015

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.

Leaders

Points: Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers) 20.

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NBA Playoffs: Celtics lead Cavaliers 31-27 after one quarter

By Michael Beaven Published: April 19, 2015

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.

Leaders:

Points: Kelly Olynyk (Celtics) 10.

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