Celtics survive LeBron James' attack to take 2-0 series lead
LOS ANGELES, United States (UPDATED) – Jaylen Brown scored 23 points and the Boston Celtics overcame a 42-point performance from LeBron James to beat Cleveland 107-94 on Tuesday, May 15 (Wednesday, May 16 in Manila) and take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.
Terry Rozier added 18 points, while Al Horford finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics, who improved to 8-0 this postseason at the Boston Garden.
"We really lean on him," said Brown of Horford. "He has been doing it all year. That is why they pay him the big bucks."
The Celtics, who overcame a double-digit deficit, have never blown a 2-0 series lead in the postseason. Game 3 is Sunday in Cleveland.
Brown said they can't let up in Game 3 because Cavaliers superstar James usually raises his game another notch after a loss.
"We need tremendous focus. He (James) one of best players of all time. But if there is anybody I would put my money on it would be this group," Brown said.
The Celtics used a balanced attack as a half dozen players reached double figures. Cleveland had 15 turnovers leading to 13 Boston points and the Celtics had just six turnovers.
James also delivered 12 assists and 10 rebounds, scoring 21 of Cleveland's 27 points in the first quarter.
His 42 points marked his 5th 40-point game of these playoffs. James had just 15 points and missed all 5 of his three-point attempts in a Game 1 defeat.
"We have the opportunity go back home and take home court," James said. "They did what they had to do to protect home court and now it is our time as well.
"We will see what we are made of on Saturday."
Tuesday's game got physical as the Celtics pulled out all the stops to try and contain James.
James appeared to strain his neck in a first-half collision. The Cavaliers sagged in the second half, where they were outscored 59-39 by the Celtics. – Rappler.com