Cavs 124, Celtics 95
The Cavs didn't stop Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, but they did just enough to irritate him and ensure that he didn't get his teammates involved very much in Friday night's game.
Rondo had 18 points and eight assists, but worked for each and every one of them and didn't play much of the fourth quarter.
Coach Mike Brown said that Anthony Parker came up with the idea of parking himself on the Boston guard. It worked well enough that only Kevin Garnett (19 points) was able to get untracked.
But the big reason the Cavs won the game: LeBron James wailed on the Celtics at will notching 38 points on 14-of-22 shooting for the night.
The Cavs dominated all aspects of the game, but the big difference is the effort was there for 48 minutes and it was clear from when James started the second quarter - a time he normally rests - that the Cavs were going for the jugular.
Game: Cavs at Boston Celtics
Radio: WAKR (1590 AM); WTAM (1100 AM), WHBC (1480 AM)
Cavs: LeBron James (F); Antawn Jamison (F); Shaquille O’Neal (C); Anthony Parker (G); Mo Williams (G).
Celtics: Paul Pierce (F); Kevin Garnett (F); Kendrick Perkins (C); Ray Allen (G); Rajon Rondo (G).
Cavs: LeBron James (elbow) and Anderson Varejao (back spasms) are probable.
Celtics: Kevin Garnett (mid-foot sprain), Kendrick Perkins (hyperextended knee) are probable.
Officials: Bennett Salvatore, Ken Mauer, Zach Zarba.
Do I have to write that the key to stopping the Celtics lies in stopping Rajon Rondo one more time? He's averaging 20 points and 15.5 rebounds in two contests and continues to break the Cavs' defense down.
Break down the Cavs defense and they have numerous problems, including a tendency to leave the weak side of the floor vulnerable to the likes of Boston guard Ray Allen, who is currently feasting on the Cavs' defense, hitting open jump shots as he did in Game 2 when he scored 22 points.
Expect the Cavs to put LeBron James on Rajon Rondo part of the time as part of the strategy they used on Chicago's Derrick Rose. A different face with a long, athletic body at every chance possible helping out Mo Williams who cannot seem to hang with Rondo.
Speaking of Williams, coach Mike Brown called him out in post-game comments recently. Williams needs to have a strong game and expect him to do so. His modus operandi is to come back with a strong game after being made note of. He's done it with news stories and the same will happen or the Cavs will be in trouble.
As for the ''most important elbow in the world'', LeBron James is just going to have to continue to adjust to an injury that is only relieved by rest because if he truly wants to attain his goal, rest won't be coming until the third week of June.