The Celtics have never blown a 2-0 series lead in the playoffs.
Last night, going out and playing meant 1) dealing with a charged-up LeBron and 2) being part of what pretty much turned into a postseason street fight. James would finish with 42 points on 16-of-29 shooting Tuesday night. It is very hard to beat the Cavaliers when James plays like the best player on earth (especially during a first quarter that made it look like he was going to go off) and Love plays like an All-Star.
But he didn't seem to play with the same force after straining his neck in a first-half collision and the Cavaliers wilted in the second half, with the Celtics outscoring them 59-39.
James had just 15 points and missed all five of his three-point attempts in the Cavs' Game 1 loss. "He went out. I don't think Jayson was intentionally trying [to hurt James]".
Smith was assessed a flagrant foul and both received technical fouls. There may have been hiccups and overeagerness in the Milwaukee series, but we keep waiting for a panic attack, a sudden case of the yips, or an impossibly bad play that reaches DEFCON 1 on social media.
Surely the Celts would back down a little when things got chippy. For all the greatness projected upon him, and which he will surely achieve, the kid's lack of worldliness was painfully evident as the Celtics were making short work of the Sixers in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Prior to Cleveland's 8:30 p.m. ET tip-off in Boston, Lue revealed that he has indeed inserted center Tristan Thompson into the Cavs' starting lineup.
Piscotty: 'Pure joy' after HR upon return to A's
BC-BBA-Athletics-Piscotty Homers, 98A's Stephen Piscotty honors late mother with HR in returnAP Photo MASR106Eds: APNewsNow. Gretchen Piscotty died May 6 from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.
The Cavs led 27-23 at the end of the first quarter and 47-36 at halftime.
Asked in the locker room by ESPN after the game if his head was OK, James nodded solemnly and said, "I'm OK".
Cavs forward Jeff Green subbed in temporarily for James, who returned to the contest with 1:57 remaining in the second quarter.
Boston flurried just before the half, getting six points from Morris in the final minute to trim Cleveland's lead to 55-48 at the break.
"You know, that was big for us", Celtics guard Marcus Smart said of James' setback.
"All experiences add up and can really be used to peoples' benefit", he said prior to Game 2 of the series.