James was the star of the show, doing as he pleased against a helpless Boston defense en route to 38 points on 14-24 shooting, nine rebounds, and seven assists.
Fast forward to Game 1 of that series Wednesday at TD Garden, where Olynyk found himself trying to stop Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James - and failing miserably.
And if the Celtics don't play any better than they did in the first half of the opener, that could be it. And that makes it impossible to beat the Cavaliers, particularly when Kevin Love is having one of the finest games of his playoff career and Tristan Thompson is being a menace on the offensive boards.
"I pretty much know how many guys I'm going to see throughout the course of a game", James said. "So he came through for us". He scored at least 35 points in his fifth straight playoff game - joining Michael Jordan as the only players to do that twice in the playoffs. The only other player who has 30 or more isolations in the postseason who is scoring more points per possession and scoring more frequently is Toronto's DeMar DeRozan, who is now out of the playoffs. "But I should be much better (Friday)".More news: Tear-stained apology caps Weiner's guilty plea in sexting case
James played the first game of the Eastern Conference finals as if he had discovered a video game cheat mode.
If the Cavaliers want to look for something positive to take from Boston's futile rally, it's that they'll take the Celtics seriously in Game 2 on May 19.
The team with the ideal roster continued its run of perfection in the 2017 playoffs on May 17 by topping the Celtics, 117-104, at TD Garden in Boston.
Two bright spots for Brad Stevens, though, were Jaylen Brown and Gerald Green, who played better than anyone else despite their limited minutes.More news: Oil prices climb on hopes output cuts will be extended
The Celtics put on a spurt at the end of the third quarter to cut what was a 28-point Cavs lead to 92-75 heading into the fourth period, but the Cavaliers were never seriously threatened. His accuracy is going to open up the floor for Thomas, who spent a majority of Wednesday night running into multiple defenders because the Celtics couldn't buy a shot from downtown. Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley were Boston's co-leading scorers, finishing with 21 apiece.
"They were the better team tonight".
"They hit us first. "The refs were allowing them to hold and grab and do all those things", Thomas said". "We can't let that happen again".
Love averaged a quiet 13.8 points in the first two rounds, then broke out against a Boston team that knocked him out of the 2015 playoffs when he became tangled with Kelly Olynyk and dislocated his shoulder.More news: Celtics follow euphoria of winning lottery with dud against Cleveland Cavaliers
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