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East Conf. Finals Game 2: Cleveland Cavaliers 94-107 Boston Celtics - 5 Talking Points

The Celtics stage a comeback victory to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.

SENIOR ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10 16 May 2018, 13:46 IST
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2018 NBA Playoffs: Cleveland Cavaliers vs Boston Celtics At TD Garden
LeBron James drives to the rim

The Boston Celtics managed to withstand the supernova that was LeBron James' 40-point triple-double, and win the game anyway by the sizeable margin of 13 points. The King may have had 'Zero level of concern' following game 1 of the series when he underwhelmed in a 15-point performance as his primary defender Marcus Morris outscored him.

But he will be eating his words now, as he slipped to a rather anticlimactic defeat against a young, hungry, hustling Boston Celtics that does not back down from a fight. And a fight it was largely because of the amazing influence of James during the 1st quarter, when he recorded a career-high 21 points on 13 shots and gave the Cavaliers a 27-23 lead. That lead swelled to 7 points at halftime as Kyle Korver had a hot shooting streak in which he scored 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting.

The Celtics took control of the game in a 3rd quarter during which they outscored the Cavs by 14, and they never relinquished that lead thereon, going on to win by 13.

The following are the 5 major talking points from the game:

#5 Tristan Thompson's insertion into the starting lineup

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game Two
Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game Two

Tyronn Lue learned his lesson from Game 1, and he went with a 2-big lineup to start this game. Plugging Tristan Thompson in for Kyle Korver was not a masterstroke, but on a different night, it might have been the kind of adjustment that won Cleveland the game.

Thompson started off well, playing tough-nosed defense on Horford or whoever he was switched onto at the current moment. The Celtics missed a number of jump shots in the first half, and they were unable to reload using offensive rebounds as Thompson boxed out whoever would be playing center for the Celtics and either grabbed it on his own or allowed Kevin Love or LeBron to corral the rebound.

Thompson ended the night with figures of 8 points, 7 rebounds and a team-high +/- of -5 among the Cavs' starters. One gets the feeling that if he'd gotten more minutes, the Cavs would have been able to keep the game closer, or perhaps won it. Thompson's one-on-one defense was exemplary, as was his help defense, and the way he crashed the offensive glass (he had 4 offensive rebounds, which fetched him all of his points) was an asset to their offense overall.




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