Boston Celtics blitzed Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals with a resounding 108-83 victory.
Second-year guard Jaylen Brown had 23 points and eight rebounds and veteran center Al Horford had 20 points, six assists and four rebounds in a superb display from Boston.
LeBron James entered the game averaging 34.3 points, 9.4 rebounds and nine assists in the playoffs and was dominant against Toronto in the conference semifinals.
But Boston’s pressure defence forced James into a night to forget: 15 points on 5-for-16 shooting, nine assists and seven rebounds. Prior to Sunday, James had scored at least 22 points in 11 playoff games this season.
“You definitely have to adjust,” James said. “That’s what part of the playoff series is about. The teams adjusting from game to game and seeing ways you can be better.”
On a bad night for the Cavs, James, J.R. Smith, Kevin Love and Kyle Korver were a combined 2-for-17 on three-pointers against the Celtics. Love (team-high 17 points) joined James as the other Cavs starter with double-figures in scoring.
Rodney Hood and Jordan Clarkson scored 11 and 10 points, respectively, off the bench for Cleveland, and Tristan Thompson added eight points and 11 rebounds. But that wasn’t enough for the 2016 champs and head coach Tyronn Lue may ring the changes ahead of Game 2 which come up Tuesday in Boston 8:30 p.m. ET (1:30 pm Nigerian time).