Celtics, Morris shut down LeBron

Just like Pepperidge Farm Le Bron James remembers

"They're playing tougher than we are".

He doubled his total over the rest of the game, finishing the game with a triple-double of 42 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.

Unfortunately for the Cavs, games aren't won in the first quarter. Smart finished with 11 points and nine assists off the bench for Boston. That included the game-tying free throw with 6:15 remaining and a thunderous breakaway dunk with James on his heels.

"Just as confident going into a series no matter if it's a 0-0 series or if I'm down 0-1", James said.

Cleveland swept the Toronto Raptors and Boston beat the Philadelphia 76ers in five games to set up a rematch of last year's East finals.

"I think we just have a group of guys that really believe in each other", Horford said. The teams below them on that list - Chicago, Indiana, Philadelphia and Phoenix - are a mix of lottery-bound and mid-level playoff squads. As I watch this series it's tough not to think all the way back to the Kyrie Irving trade before the season.

James has appeared in seven consecutive NBA Finals series, including three straight with Cleveland.

Once again I look at this Boston team and applaud the job Brad Stevens has done.

James and Brown combined for 35 of the game's first 50 points as the Cavaliers jumped out to a 27-23 lead after one quarter. Cleveland was held to 36 percent shooting (31 of 86) from the floor. Cleveland had 15 turnovers leading to 13 Boston points.

The lead catalyst to Boston's third quarter run?

It was a disaster, with the Celtics never headed after jumping to a 29-9 lead in the first quarter. Boston started Morris in place of Aron Baynes to match up against James.

- Brown's 23 points marked his third-consecutive game with at least 20 points, a new playoff career high.

"But you've just got to give credit to Coach (Stevens), because he ends up making adjustments. whichever the matchup is, and giving us those options to go out there and execute on offense".

The Cavaliers said James had a neck sprain.

They aren't supposed to be here; many people picked them to lose to the Milwaukee Bucks in the opening round.

BOSTON- Like they've done so many times throughout the 2018 National Basketball Association season, the Boston Celtics had an explosive second half.

Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue said, "We'll be better going back home. We moved on to the next play way and we locked in after that". Whatever it takes, every player, 1-15, whatever it takes, that's what we're doing. "We see that. They're being physical".

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