BOSTON - The Boston Celtics crushed the Cleveland Cavaliers on the interior in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals, taking advantage of Cleveland's lack of a shot-blocker and the soft pick-and-roll defense to score 60 points in the paint.
The 28-year-old was thrust into Boston's starting line-up for Game One and found himself defending against LeBron in 24 plays during the game, limiting the three-time National Basketball Association champion to five points on two-for-six from the field and two assists and forcing one turnover.
Asked if the layoff following their sweep of Toronto may have been a factor, said, "No, we just didn't play well". Cleveland was just four for 26 (15.4%) from distance.
Now, we have our answer.
James would finish the game with a triple-double of 42 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds. I think even early on with the shots that we had, we had some wide-open looks that just didn't go.More news: Anne Frank's 'Dirty Jokes' Have Been Uncovered From Her Diary
I guess we can expect that happening again today.
And another clear difference between these teams: effort. "Brad just kept sending them in". Terry Rozier led the way with 14 points in the quarter, and he provided two of the loudest points of the game with a monstrous jam that gave Boston a 74-71 lead.
Jaylen Brown led all scorers with 23 points, shooting 9-of-16 from the field and an elite 3-of-5 from downtown.
"I didn't go to college, so it's not March Madness", he said. "We weathered the storm because it's easy to fall apart there". After missing two free throws, LeBron then drilled a pair of heat-check treys. On the next Celtics possession, Horford was fouled hard in mid air by Cavs' guard JR Smith, who received a flagrant foul 1 for the hit. Smith shoved Morris and the pair had to be separated.
"It was a dirty shot", Smart said.
And yet, with a complete Cavs performance so elusive, with a backcourt of Smith and George Hill contributing little this round, with the new guys who arrived in February wholly unreliable and with a feisty ensemble opponent brimming with more confidence daily, the needles on some urgency meters back in Cleveland could well be buried to the right. He's known for it - especially playing against us.More news: Personality App Exposed 3M Facebook Users' Details
"You can't allow that to happen". "And that's what I tried to do".
James made his points, but the Celtics made their point.
"It was that point of the game where we needed to make plays", Horford said. If the C's can hold them to 12 or fewer makes, the Celtics probably win.
"It was a tough collision", he said, per McMenamin. Tatum now has nine points in a row for Boston, bouncing back after going scoreless in the first quarter.
He continued his newfound long range shooting with a three-pointer late in the third quarter to put the Celtics up 79-74 and on their way to victory. And the Celtics responded in a big way.More news: Melania Trump hospitalized for 'benign' kidney condition