The Cleveland Cavaliers definitely didn’t look rusty in Game 1, as they trounced the Boston Celtics, 117-104, to open the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday night, May 17 (local time), according to foxsports.com.
LeBron James had 38 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in another display of his utter dominance.
The defending Finals MVP played all 12 minutes of the opening frame, which seems like an indication of how he’ll approach the NBA Finals.
The Celtics started with a traditional lineup featuring two bigs (Al Horford and Amir Johnson), then quickly realized they needed a lot more shooting to hang around with the defending champions.
Stevens adjusted quickly, as Johnson finished with just five minutes on the night. The Boston coach tried everything he could, playing Horford alongside Kelly Olynyk, going small with Horford, three wings, and Isaiah Thomas, and even playing five-out at times.
With all eyes on LeBron (well, other than the eyes that decided to watch something else after the first quarter), Kevin Love’s 32-point, 12-rebound performance flew under the radar.
It’s the first 30-point playoff game of Love’s career, and he becomes just the second teammate of LeBron’s to tally 30 points and 10 rebounds in a postseason game, joining Dwyane Wade. He’s also the first Cavalier other than LeBron to have 30 points and 10 boards in a playoff game since Brad Daugherty in 1992.
Here’s one more stat for good measure: LeBron and Love are the first pair of teammates to score 30 points each against the Celtics in the postseason since Jerry West and Elgin Baylor in 1966.