No LeBron worries despite Celtics playoff rout of Cavs

Terry Rozier: Boston Celtics can get 'a lot better' defensively, according to Brad Stevens

Terry Rozier: Boston Celtics can get 'a lot better' defensively, according to Brad Stevens

The Boston Celtics dismantled the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-83 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, and LeBron James is looking to help his squad avoid what would be a problematic 2-0 series deficit. Jaylen Brown top scored for them with 23 points, Al Horford dropped in 20, and Jayson Tatum added 16. "We're just out here playing hard and doing the best we can". Rodney Hood added 12 points while Jordan Clarkson had 11 off the bench. After averaging 22.5 dimes a game in the regular season and 21.6 during the playoffs, Boston dished out 27 assists in the Game 1 rout.

"I thought our guys were locked in", said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, whose team is now 8-0 at the Garden in the playoffs. "As role players, we've got to play our role".

Scenes from the NBA Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers. He had helped slow James before, holding him to 19 points on January 3, in another Celtics win in Boston.

"You get better throughout".

Aren't the best of the lot like that-if not the majority of them? "We weighed it before the series started".

The Celtics came out fighting against the Cavaliers from word go in Game 1 and Cleveland just couldn't cope all four quarters. It's up to him to bring this series back to Cleveland, 1-1.

Game 2 is Tuesday night. Horford set the tone early with his scoring in the post and the rest of the team followed suit as they finished with 60 points in the paint compared to the Cavaliers' 38 points. Cleveland trailed by as many as 29 after that. A Celtics first-quarter charge put them in the driver's seat early. The Cavaliers got absolutely ambushed right from the tipoff and you have to point some of the blame at LeBron who looked unrecognizable in this game, but I think he will bounce back with a big performance. James is now 8-0 in his last eight playoff games against the Toronto Raptors and just 5-8 against everyone else. Larkin is already ruled out for Game 2 and is likely to miss the entire series.

Boston has gotten progressively stronger in the postseason: after being stretched to the limit by the Bucks, they rolled past Philadelphia in five games, winning three close contests in the series.

LeBron James will probably score 35 points (or more) tonight, maybe with 12 rebounds and 10 assists.

After such a landslide of a win, the Celtics have but one goal in mind: stay focused and get the job done once again. "Our guys played with good aggression".

James drives through defenders of any size and strength, brushing them off like the bullets that hit the back of King Kong as he climbed the Empire State Building.

But this time, you didn't see him the way you wanted him to play.

"We were great", Horford said. "We didn't play well". We fed off the crowd and we kept it going throughout the game. "Once we step between them lines, we have to compete no matter who we have out there, and that's what we've been doing".

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