East Conf. Finals - Game 2: Cleveland Cavaliers 94-107 Boston Celtics - Cavaliers' Player Ratings
After a 25-point blowout Game 1 loss, LeBron James came out red-hot, focused and determined at the start of Game 2 but at the end of the day, it didn't matter. For the second time in three days, the "better team" (Boston Celtics) won.
Unlike Game 1, the Celtics had to wrestle the lead back from Cleveland and they did so with a big third quarter where they outscored the Cavaliers 36-22. For the Cavaliers, things just went from bad to worse. Losing Game 1 by 25 when LeBron is having a bad game is one thing but losing Game 2 by 13 when the 4-time league MVP registers a 40-point triple-double is another thing altogether.
At the end of the day, the Celtics did what they were supposed to - take care of their home court and the Cavs would look forward to doing the same but the 0-2 is not a small one to overcome. It's a hole, LeBron James has not been (in the East) since facing Boston in the 2008 Conference Finals where he lost.
Before discussing the series further over the 3-day break, we take a look back at Game 2 and review each Cavaliers' players contribution.
LeBron James - 9/10
Stat line: 42 points, 12 assists, 10 rebounds, 1 block, 6 turnovers, 16-of-29 shooting (5-11 3s)
LeBron James gave it his all in this game but it was just not enough. He started off the first quarter scoring 21 of the team's 27 points on 8-of-13 shooting and 4-of-7 on long-distance 3s. The Celtics were staying within reach but everybody knew what was coming - a huge LeBron James' game.
However, midway through the second quarter, he inadvertently got hit in the face by Jayson Tatum's shoulder. He was forced to head back to the locker room after he knocked down two free-throws. When he returned, energy wise, he just didn't look the same and he didn't seem to have the same bounce in his step for the rest of the game like he did to begin the game.
He did end up scoring 21 more points but going up against a potent well-balanced Celtics' offense with a disappointing supporting cast, it just wasn't enough.
It wasn't a perfect game though. The fatigue, towards the end, caught up to him and he ended the game with 6 turnovers after committing 7 in Game 1.