Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Sport | By Ellis Neal

James, Love help Cavs rout Celtics 117-104 in Game 1

Game 2 is Friday night at TD Garden before the series shifts to Cleveland for Games 3 and 4. James has scored 30 points in seven straight games as he looks to visit the finals for the seventh straight season.

The Cavaliers took a 1-0 lead in the series with a 117-104 victory. Antetokounmpo made history by becoming the first player in the National Basketball Association to finish a season in the top-20 for total points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals, and became just the fifth player all-time to lead his team in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals per game over the course of a season.

Some third-quarter unpleasantness erupted between Thompson and Boston's Marcus Smart, whose fiery play kept his team somewhat alive as his flying slam on a rebound with 2.8 seconds left in the third ignited the crowd.

"You can't dig yourself in a big hole like that against them", Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. Cleveland had 22 points in the paint in the first, and James scored 15 in the first quarter alone. "We have to be ready for it", he said.

"They put you in a bad matchup nearly every time down the floor", Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Thursday.

Harden made the first team for the third time. "I mean, I've seen it all.I've just got to be more aggressive, make plays, make shots, and go from there". The team had a particularly poor start from the field, as it missed 11 of its first 14 shots of the night.

"We've just got to be more in tune as a group", Thomas said.

Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder led the Celtics with 21 points apiece while Isaiah Thomas, hounded all night, had 17 points and 10 assists.

Love averaged a quiet 13.8 points in the first two rounds, then broke out against a Boston team that knocked him out of the 2015 playoffs when he became tangled with Kelly Olynyk and dislocated his shoulder. They hit us first. "They were more physical", Thomas said.

Boston seemed to start getting desperate in the second half. Hardly. So much has happened in LeBron's career since that series took place, and we doubt he's still using a missed opportunity from almost a decade ago as his lone source of motivation.

The win was the Cavs' 12th straight in the playoffs, dating back to the last three games of the finals past year. We need everyone, every game. They finished the game at 48.1 percent. "We got what we wanted, we just couldn't capitalize on it".

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