Game 1 was an absolute nightmare for the Cavs by just about every measure.
Smart's 3-pointer with 4:34 left in the third quarter gave the Celtics a 72-71 lead after they had trailed by 11. After a roster overhaul and two devastating injuries, Boston wasn't expected back in the Eastern Conference Finals for the second year in a row. That included the game-tying free throw with 6:15 remaining and a thunderous breakaway dunk with James on his heels.
And Celtics coach Stevens acknowledged that Boston are simply doing everything in their power to make it hard for James - who scored just 15 and went 0-for-5 on three-point attempts in Game 1.
The Celtics forced James to work harder defensively and rotated several players on the four-time NBA Most Valuable Player to contain him offensively. The Green proceeded to blow the Cavs' out of the gym in Game 1 at the TD Garden. and it was never even close. Will that happen again tonight?More news: Oil dips on signs of ample supply despite OPEC cuts, Iran sanctions
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Asked if he was checked for a concussion, he said: "I was checked for multiple things, and I passed them all".
Griffin served as Cleveland's general manager until last June, when he was unable to come to a new contract agreement with team owner Dan Gilbert. "We're just out here playing hard and having fun". After being held to just 2 points in the first half, Rozier exploded for 14 in the third.
James averaged 34 points, 9.4 rebounds and 9.0 assists in the first two rounds of the playoffs but the superstar playmaker was shut down by an aggressive, hustling Celtics squad.
The team also outscored Cleveland by 20 points in the second half.
"At the end of the day, when you're a basketball player, you step out there between the lines, you've got a job to do, you've prepared well to do that and you just go play". "When he thought he had driving lanes, they made him kick it out to other shooters". We know we have to play better. "We all have a role to play, and we all need to play that role as well as we can". They attacked us early on.
"With Irving unavailable, the Celtics are no longer seen as a contender", our story said. "We had some great shots we couldn't make and it snowballed from there".