LeBron, Love help Cavs rout Celtics 117-104 in Game 1

LeBron, Love help Cavs rout Celtics 117-104 in Game 1

LeBron, Love help Cavs rout Celtics 117-104 in Game 1

A day after winning the National Basketball Association draft lottery and earning the right to the No. 1 overall pick, the Celtics were reminded of the gap between them and the defending National Basketball Association champion Cavaliers when Cleveland opened the Eastern Conference finals with a 117-104 victory on Wednesday night.

QuotesCleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) gives a high five to forward Kevin Love (0) before the game.

With the Cavs leading Boston 1-0 in the eastern conference finals and the Warriors holding a 2-0 edge over the San Antonio Spurs in the west, backcourt partners Dyami Starks and Adam Doyle backed last season's finalists to continue on their merry way.

In Game 1, James established himself from the outset, scoring 15 of his game-high 38 points in the first quarter.

The Celtics couldn't get anything working when they had the ball, held to just 35 percent from the field in the first half and 2 for 16 from beyond the arc. That stood as the last Game 7 road win in the Finals until the Cavaliers defeated the Warriors last season.

And if the Celtics don't play any better than they did in the first half of the opener, that could be it.

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"Once you take up space and he beats you by a step, he sprays it to a wide-open shooter", Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "One game. They took care of business, and we just gotta take care of business in Game 2". But Cleveland erased that edge quickly.

"Great players, and LeBron's the best, make really tough plays that you have to tip your hat and move on", Stevens said. "You can't start the game off lax, or shooting a bunch of jump shots". I mean, they definitely showed a few bodies that was aggressive on me, but that's nothing I haven't seen this whole year. "I was able to do that early".

In some ways, this Celtics-Wizards series defies analysis or description but maybe what's going on is as simple as this: these guys are all homebodies who get tummy aches when not sleeping in their own beds. With home-court advantage gone, the Celtics is facing a must-win Game 2 on Friday evening.

Cleveland left little doubt in Game 1 despite having 10 days off. "They were more physical", Thomas said. "With a team like that, the defending champions, you can't let them hit first". That's too much. Our goal is for a team to score 24 or less every quarter, so we've got to be better in the third quarter.

The Cleveland Cavaliers cruised to a 117-104 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday night, but for as much success as they had in the opening game of the best-of-seven series, the players are expecting a strong showing from the home team tonight.

Marcus Smart also provided a boost of energy and was not afraid to get in Thompson's face in the third quarter, which brought the crowd back into the game. Love opened up the floor for James, burying outside jumpers and forcing Boston to leave defenders one-on-one with James.

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