Here’s what happened on day 30 of the 2017 NBA Playoffs:
CLE 130 – BOS 86, CLE leads series 2-0
There looks like there’s no stopping the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Boston Celtics couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn, Isaiah Thomas failed to play a minute in the second half, and oh yeah, LeBron James was leading a dominant effort by the defending champs, and the result was another rout, and a 2-0 lead for Cleveland.
James had 30 points on 12-of-18 shooting, 4-of-6 from downtown, with four rebounds, seven assists, four steals, and three blocks, on the day his named was not included on the three-player list of finalists for MVP. He played under 33 minutes, and looked more dominant than ever.
Cleveland jumped out to a 6-0 lead, but allowed the home team to close to within a point, 11-10, drawing a timeout from the Cavaliers. The response after that was mighty, a 12-0 blast that made it 23-10, still 3:38 left in the first period.
The lead grew to 14 entering the second quarter, but it quickly reached 31 via a James triple, 53-22, under half of the period in. By the intermission, it was an NBA postseason record 41 points, 72-31, courtesy of a lucky make by JR Smith.
The Celtics announced Thomas would not be returning after the break, which allowed the Cavaliers to carry on with their dominant showing. Channing Frye got Cleveland a 50-point cushion, 112-62, 9:13 left in the game, and this was all over, save for the final score.
The 130 points of Cleveland was the most points in Cavaliers postseason history, resulting in their largest Playoffs win. It was also the largest Celtics home loss, and the largest halftime margin in NBA postseason history.
Kyrie Irving added 23 points on an 8-of-11 clip, Kevin Love posted another double-double of 21 markers and 12 boards, while Richard Jefferson chipped in 10 off the bench.
Rookie Jaylen Brown was once again Boston’s top player with 19 points off the bench. Avery Bradley scored 13 on 17 attempts, while Al Horford contributed 11 markers. Isaiah Thomas had just two points, but missed all his field goal tries.
Cleveland shot 56.5 percent from the field, including a 19-of-39 clip from downtown. Boston failed to score more than 18 points in the first two quarters.
Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE/GettyImages