East Conf. Finals Game 1 - Cleveland Cavaliers 83-108 Boston Celtics - 5 Talking Points
A breakdown of the mitigating factors that led to the Celtics' blowout win in Game 1.
The Boston Celtics continued their dominant homecourt showings with their most impressive postseason victory of the season, blowing the Cleveland Cavaliers out by a score of 108-83 in a game that was functionally over with over 10 minutes left in the 4th quarter.
Headlining the Celtics' victory were performances from Al Horford (who sat out for the entirety of the 4th quarter), Jaylen Brown and Marcus Morris. Morris outscored LeBron James by 21 to 15, despite playing lower minutes than The King - basically backing up the talk he made this weekend by claiming he's the second best defender to put on LeBron James in this league after Kawhi Leonard.
The Celtics never trailed barring a brief period early in the 1st quarter, when they were down 7-4. Their maximum lead on the night was 29 - a figure they achieved in the 4th quarter after Tyronn Lue took out all of his starters from the game.
Let's take a look at the talking points from what could be a landmark game and series for the Eastern Conference playoffs:
#5 LeBron James got outscored by a teammate for the first time this postseason
Averaging over 34 points per game in the playoffs so far, James' scoring average took a notable hit as he had undisputedly his worst game of the playoffs so far, although the Cavaliers overall have seen worse days. James' +/- of -32 was by far the worst mark for any player in the game.
The King shot 5-of-16 from the field for a lowly 31.25% field goal percentage. For most of the night, he was primarily defended by Marcus Morris, but on switches he also found the time to go one-on-one with Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Al Horford and on the rare occasion, Terry Rozier.
He bricked all 5 of his 3-pointers as well, while committing an alarmingly high 7 turnovers during the game - the Cavaliers as a team had a total of just 9. James finished with 15 points, 7 rebounds and 9 assists on the night, and All-Star teammate Kevin Love finished with 17 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists on a night when almost nothing seemed to be going LeBron's way.