Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Cleveland Cavaliers set NBA postseason record for largest halftime lead

Cleveland Cavaliers set NBA postseason record for largest halftime lead

Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas, left, drives to the basket against Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love during the second quarter of Game 1 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, Wednesday, May 17, 2017, in Bos. The Cavaliers won 117-104.

With his Cleveland Cavaliers leading the Boston Celtics 70-31 in the final seconds of an ugly first half, LeBron James raced up the court and fired a ideal pass to Kevin Love in the corner for a 3-pointer. Boston had the best record in the Eastern Conference this year, but that has not transitioned into much success against the Cavaliers in the conference finals. Boston is not winning Game 2, as the Celtics have been down by over 40 points in this game.

Oh, and there's extra motivation for Cleveland - now 9-0 in these playoffs - which could earn another long rest if it makes quick work of the Celtics.

"I believe in these guys", Thomas said at practice on Thursday. "I know what I bring to the table". James finished with 30 points, seven assists, four rebounds and three blocks. Good luck with that Boston.

Adjustments will be made, but it's not clear what Boston can do to change the series in a meaningful way.

"We're not just happy to be here", Thomas said. "We have to be ready for it". They just happened to play better than us in Game 1.

Adding insult to. insult, this rather unnecessary chase-down offensive rebound and turnaround jumper by JR Smith was the shot that put the Celtics on the wrong side of history.

Despite not playing "that great", the Cavaliers took over home-court advantage in the series and look to get a two games to none lead Friday night at TD Garden.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens said his optimism remains high, and that he was "really encouraged" by his team's performance over the final 18 minutes of the game. It included getting within 11 points with less than 2 minutes to play. The Celtics were 11 of 41 from the field.

"There's nothing to figure out", Thomas said.

Smart and Thompson were called for a double foul on the play, but got tangled again a few minutes later.

Thomas had been everything for the Celtics this season. Yes, the Cavs still have to win two more games. It's a luxury not lost on Lue.

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