NEW YORK, United States – LeBron James says he’s not worried after the Cleveland Cavaliers were routed 108-83 Sunday, May 13, by the Boston Celtics in the opening game of the NBA Eastern Conference finals.
But the 4-time NBA Most Valuable Player, trying to reach his 8th consecutive NBA Finals, admits the Cavaliers need to make some changes before the best-of-7 playoff series resumes Tuesday in Boston.
“I have zero level of concern at this stage,” James said. “You get better throughout the series. I’ve been down 0-1. I’ve been down 0-2. I’ve been down before. We have another opportunity to be better Tuesday.
“Game 1 has always been a feel-out game for me. I got a sense of how they are going to play me and I can make some changes going into Game 2. We’ll see ways we can be better and get our offense into a better rhythm.”
Jaylen Brown scored 23 points and grabbed 8 rebounds while Al Horford added 20 points for the Celtics, who seized a 36-18 lead after the first quarter and never looked back, inflicting the second-worst Game 1 playoff loss James has ever suffered.
“We were great,” Horford said. “We came out with a lot of energy. We fed off the crowd and we kept it going throughout the game. We’re just out here playing hard and doing the best we can.”
Marcus Morris had 18 points and 11 rebounds for Boston and led a swarming defensive effort that shut down Cavs playmaker James, who averaged 34 points, 9.4 rebounds and 9.0 assists in prior playoff games.
“We just have to make it hard for him,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “Our guys played with good aggression.”
James finished with 15 points on 5-of-16 shooting with 7 rebounds and 9 assists. He blocked two shots but also made 7 turnovers as the Cavaliers missed their first 14 3-point attempts and came no closer than 14 points in the second half.
“They had a great game plan in Game 1,” James said. “They did a great job of communicating the whole game. We have a lot of film to look at how they were making us uncomfortable. I was out of my rhythm the whole game.” – Rappler.com
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