The most up-to-date content on the planet
this just in
WEEI » This Just In » LeBron, Cavs blow out Celtics in Game 1
Wed, 05/17/2017 - 11:04pm  

LeBron, Cavs blow out Celtics in Game 1

LeBron James and the Cavaliers were not about add to the Celtics’ fairytale week.

In a display becoming of a defending champion, the Cavaliers, coming off a nine-day hiatus, came to Boston and put a stranglehold on the team that was just 48 hours removed from an electrifying and draining seven-game victory over the Washington Wizards and a day from winning the NBA Draft lottery for the first time in franchise history.

James scored 23 of his 38 points in the first half while Kevin Love added 32 points as the Cavaliers routed the Celtics, 117-104, in Game 1 of the Eastern finals Wednesday night at TD Garden. Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley finished with 21 apiece to lead the Celtics, who will try somehow to regroup for Game 2 Friday night at the Garden before the series shifts to Cleveland for Games 3 and 4 Sunday and Tuesday. 

“With LeBron playing at this level, other guys just have to be solid and contribute,” Cavaliers coach Ty Lue said. 

“He’s better than when I got in the league, a lot better,” Brad Stevens said. “He’s a good player, a great player. I didn’t think he could get any better.”

The Celtics tried many defensive options on James and Love, with little success all night. 

“It’s easier said than done but we have to figure out our best avenue quickly,” Stevens said of the challenge of defending James and Love when they’re on the court together. “Doubling is really scary against these guys but it may be necessary.”

The win was Cleveland’s 12th straight in the postseason, dating back to their comeback against the Warriors in the 2016 Finals. They are a perfect 9-0 in the playoffs while the Warriors are one better at 10-0 this postseason. 

Brad Stevens says Celtics can’t fall into a hole like that first quarter. “We have to play a lot better” to have a chance.

— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) May 18, 2017

The game started out as the Celtics worst nightmare. 

The bigger, stronger Cavaliers made seven of their first 13 shots. The Celtics, on the other hand, missed 11 of their first 14 shots. Most concerning early was Boston’s inability to score when not defended. The Celtics were just 2-for-10 on uncontested shots. 

The Cavs raced to leads of 22-9 and 26-13. The Cavaliers also dominated the glass, hauling in 15 rebounds to Boston’s 4. 

And then there was James. The superstar made seven of eight shots and posted exactly half of his team’s 30 points in the opening quarter as Cleveland took a 30-15 lead. 

Things only got worse in the second quarter. After missing all five 3-point shots in the opening 12 minutes, the Celtics missed 9-of-11 from deep in the second. Throw eight first-half turnovers into the mix – leading to 12 Cleveland points – and you have an unmitigated disaster. 

Jae Crowder says Cavs definitely had “better energy” and IT says “with a team like that, defending champs you can’t let them hit first.”

— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) May 18, 2017

Two Kevin Love free throws with three minutes left in the second quarter stretched Cleveland’s lead to 53-29. James banked in a turnaround fallaway with 1:45 left to build Cleveland’s lead to 57-31. James’ layup with four seconds left gave him 23 points for the half on 10-of-15 shooting and put the Cavaliers ahead, 61-36. 

(For a full boxscore, click here).

The only highlight was a pull-up three from 27 feet by Thomas at the buzzer, closing the Celtics to within 22 at the break. 

Kelly Olynyk started the second half in place of Amir Johnson and it didn’t make much of a difference. Love was fouled shooting a three and hit a three on the next possession before Tristan Thompson cut to the basket for a uncontested dunk on a perfect pass from James. It was 73-45. 

When Love wasn’t hitting open threes and James wasn’t driving the lane, Celtic-killer Tristan Thompson was again abusing the Celtics in the paint and on the glass. The big man hit his first seven shots from the floor while grabbing eight rebounds, including six on the offensive glass in the first three quarters. 

Ty Lue says LeBron James set the tone for Cavs with huge first quarter.

— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) May 18, 2017

The Celtics did try to get inside the head of Thompson late in the third. Marcus Smart got in Thompson’s face after a taking a shove to the back. LeBron was quick to push Thompson away. Moments later, it was Isaiah Thomas’ turn, barking at Thompson before being separated. Thompson finished with 20 points and nine rebounds. 

A 10-1 Celtics run cut the lead down to 19, 89-70. Kevin Love hit a three before Al Horford responded in kind. Marcus Smart’s put-back dunk brought the Garden crowd to its feet and sent the crowd into a frenzy. Boston trailed 92-75 heading into the final quarter. 

After scoring just two points in the third quarter, James helped put the game away with 13 in the fourth. 

The Celtics cut it to 16, 110-94, with 3:45 left but missed a pair of open looks on 3-pointers. James hit one of two free throws with 3:23 remaining to push the lead back to 17, 111-94. 

With the reserves in, the Celtics cut it to 11, 111-100 on a Gerald Green three before Iman Shumpert converted a baseline triple to put the game safely away. 

Audio On Demand

MMQB's Peter King with Da…

MMQB's Peter King with Dale, Holley and Keefe

We had an impromptu visit from Peter King from SI / MMQB to our Fenway Studios and decided to talk some NFL and Patriots with him.

Phil Perry, CSNNE on the Patriots and NFL free agency

Pete talks with The Senator, Phil Perry about the Patriots trading for Dwayne Allen, ruling out a return to New England for Martellus Bennett. They also talk about the potential future of Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo and some of the big names in NFL free agency

NFL SUNDAY...the final segment of the year -- 2-5-17

Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.

LaVar Ball with Dale, Hol…

LaVar Ball with Dale, Holley and Keefe

Dale, Holley and Rich Keefe discuss NBA lottery pick Lonzo Ball with his very outspoken father Lavar Ball. The guys touch on the Celtics, his feud with his sons' high school coach, Lonzo being better than Steph Curry and much more.

Kirk and Callahan- Will Isaiah Thomas win a title in Boston? 3-7-17

Kirk, Gerry, and Alex Reimer discuss whether or not Isaiah Thomas will win a title in Boston.

Kirk and Callahan- Celtics lose after Thomas mishandles the ball 3-6-17

Gerry, Kirk, and Trenni react to the Celtics loss against the Suns.

David Ortiz with Dale, Ho…

David Ortiz with Dale, Holley and Keefe

We speak with David Ortiz, co-author of the new biography Papi: My Story with our own Michael S. Holley.

Bradfo Sho, Ep. 31: The definitive Rafael Devers podcast

Red Sox assistant general manager Eddie Romero, the man who had a huge hand in signing top prospect Rafael Devers, joins Rob Bradford to talk all things Devers. Romero explains how the organization locked up the talented third baseman, detailing how he has progressed to this point and how long it might be until the 20 year old becomes a major leaguer.

Bradfo Sho, Ep. 30: Michael Holley talks David Ortiz book

Michael Holley, author of the new book, "Papi: My Story" joins Rob Bradford to talk anything and everything about the soon-to-be released David Ortiz autobiography. Holley discusses the twists and turns leading up to actually writing the book, the stories behind putting it all together and the stories behind the stories.

Bruce Cassidy with Dale, …

Bruce Cassidy with Dale, Holley and Keefe

Dale, Holley and Keefe interview the newest coach of the Boston Bruins for the first time, Bruce Cassidy.

The 1972 Bruins


Saturday Skate - Bruins and the All-Star break

Guys talk the Bruins season so far and the All-Star Break

K&C - Ken Rosenthal has a…

K&C - Ken Rosenthal has an awful Farrell take; Monica Lewinsky blames Roger Ailes 5-23-17

Hour 4: Ken Rosenthal thinks Farrell might be fired...

K&C - Terrorist identified as Salman Abedi; Tension with Ken & Curtis 5-23-17

Hour 3: The terrorist is identified and Kirk discusses the brewing tension with Ken and Curtis.

K&C - Will the Celtics trade Isaiah Thomas? Reimer wants a one child limit 5-23-17

Hour 2: The guys discussed the future of Isaiah Thomas.

OMF - Deadspin takes a sh…

OMF - Deadspin takes a shot at the Celtics; Is the Patriots Hall of Fame rigged? 5-23-17

HOUR 4 - In the final hour of the show, the guys discuss a Deadspin article titled "The Celtics Have A Moral Obligation To Get The Fuck Out." Glenn thinks the induction of Raymond Clayborn into the Patriots HOF might be evidence that it's rigged.

OMF - The NFL is peeling back it's restrictions on TD celebrations, 5-23-17

HOUR 3 - The guys open up the 12 o'clock hour talking about the proposed rules changes regarding touchdown celebrations. They also get into the future of Julian Edelman, the reported rift between ESPN's "Mike and Mike," and Peyton Manning's apology to an NFL referee.

OMF - Now is not the time to fire John Farrell, 5-23-17

HOUR 2 - The guys open up hour two finishing off their Celtics thoughts and taking calls from fans. As the hour goes on, they transition into to some Sox talk, and discuss a Ken Rosenthal report regarding John Farrell's job security. Towards the end of the hour, Glenn picks a side in the "Lou vs. Fauria" debate about Al Horford.

Is this version of the Ca…

Is this version of the Cavaliers one of the NBA's all time great teams?

Holley and Keefe mix it up about the place of this version of Lebron's Cavs and how history will judge them.

The No Fun League relaxes some of it's rules on celebrations

Dale, Holley and Keefe discuss the NFL's policy changes towards in game celebrations.

Trying to make sense of the struggling Sox

Checking in on the Sox with Dale, Holley and Keefe.

Ep. 58: Mike Finkel, Auth…

Ep. 58: Mike Finkel, Author of True Story and The Stanger in the Woods

Kirk Minihane talks to the author of the best selling book "The Stranger in the Woods" Mike Finkel. It is a crazy story of a hermit leaving in Maine. Mike is also the author of "True Story" which was made into a movie staring Jonah Hill and James Franco. Mike talks about how the movie came out, his thoughts on Jonah Hill portraying him, and if it was true to the book.

Ep. 57: Garry W. Tallent, founding member of the E Street Band

Kirk Minihane, Springsteen super fan, is joined by Garry W. Tallent, founding member of the E Street Band. Kirk and Garry talk about what it's like on tour with Bruce, how the band goes about selecting songs for the tour, Garry's projects away from the band, and Garry's upcoming solo tour that will bring him to the New England area.

Ep. 56: Howie Carr

Kirk Minihane, future radio hall of famer, sits down with current radio hall of famer Howie Carr. Kirk and Howie talk about Howie's latest book Kennedy Babylon. If you like famous people engaging in sex scandals, hard drug taking, and murder this is the podcast for you. Its a fascinating look at Boston's most famous family and the problems that took the family down.

#DORK 15: Best Sports Vid…

#DORK 15: Best Sports Video Games

Rich Keefe & Ryan Davey discuss the best sports video games of all-time. They break them down by sport and then ultimately crown a Top 5. Plus This Week in #DORK and the Pick of the Podcast.

SoccerCast - Have Revs fans stopped caring about the team?

Ben, Russ, and Alex talk about the European leagues coming to a conclusion, the ridiculous end to John Terry's time at Chelsea, and of course the Revs are heading to NY on a mini win streak but the fans don't seem to care about the on-field product anymore.

Two Outs with Buck and Reimer Ep 4: Billy Bean talks Kevin Pillar slur

Alex Reimer and Steve Buckley chat with MLB Ambassador of Inclusion Billy Bean about the Kevin Pillar incident and casual homophobia in sports. Bean explains how difficult it is to stamp out anti-gay language, given how prevalent it is in our vernacular.

K&C - Tony Reali is going…

K&C - Tony Reali is going through postpartum anxiety; Boston Magazine profiles Linda Pizzuti 5-22-17

Hour 4: Around the Horn's Tony Reali is struggling with postpartum anxiety and depression. Linda Pizzuti is profiled in Boston Magazine.

More from this show

K&C - Terrorist identifie…

K&C - Terrorist identified as Salman Abedi; Tension with Ken & Curtis 5-23-17

Hour 3: The terrorist is identified and Kirk discusses the brewing tension with Ken and Curtis.

More from this show

K&C - Celtics pull off im…

K&C - Celtics pull off improbable Game 3 victory in Cleveland; Mut nailed the Preakness 5-22-17

Hour 1: Gerry is back in with Kirk and Mut recapping the Celtics' near impossible Game 3 victory in Cleveland. Mut picked the Preakness winner.

More from this show

K&C - Terror in Mancheste…

K&C - Terror in Manchester; Donald Trump calls terrorists "losers" 5-23-17

Hour 1: Reimer, Gerry and Kirk discussed the terrorist attack in Manchester

More from this show

K&C - Without Isaiah Thom…

K&C - Without Isaiah Thomas, the Celtics pull off all-time upset in Cleveland 5-22-17

Hour 3: The guys continue talking Celtics after they beat the Cavs in Cleveland without Isaiah Thomas in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

More from this show

News & Analysis