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Celtics survive 42-point night by LeBron, down Cavs

17 May 2018

For the first time since the 2008 East Semifinals, LeBron James trails 0-2 in an intraconference playoff series.

Maybe there will be more nauseous moments ahead, but for now, Tuesday night, May 15, 2018, stands as the 180-degree opposite of Tuesday night, October 25, 2016.That night 19 months ago, the Cavaliers accepted their NBA Championship rings as the Indians hosted Game 1 of the World Series - a title appreciated and a title anticipated.More than a handful of fans left The Q and walked the 97 steps to the gates of Progressive Field to embrace both moments, at least one calling it the best night of her life.

It was a tough walk out of Boston for LeBron James after the Cavs lost game two in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.

The Cleveland Cavaliers need a victory here to bring the series to 2-1 if they have any real chance of getting back in this thing.

But their lead disappeared in the second half.

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The Celtics, meanwhile, are up 2-0 on the Cavs without Kyrie.

One option is to re-insert Korver at small forward, sit Hill and slide James to the point, where he typically plays anyway but where he'll be more susceptible to double teams and will have to work harder than he is already. Boston outscored Cleveland 36-22 in the third quarter and held Cleveland at bay the rest of the way.

The Celtics breakout point guard Terry Rozier spoke about the determination of the group post-game.

James Harden and Chris Paul combined for 64 points in game one but it was not enough, as the Golden State Warriors came away with a 119-106 win. With all this in mind, every indication would suggest that Aron Baynes may be heading back to the second NBA Finals series of his career. "They can chant and scream all they want, it actually makes me feel better about myself". Cleveland did exactly that: for a half.

Smart missed the final 15 games of the regular season after tearing a ligament in his right thumb while diving for a loose ball in a game against the Indiana Pacers on March 11.

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"We're going to fight", Rozier said.

They were (gasp) even covering for one another on the defensive end and making multiple efforts, holding Boston to 48 points on 19-of-44 (43.1 percent) from the field and 5-of-14 (35.7 percent) from 3-point range. The Cleveland Cavaliers are shooting 33.6 percent from beyond the arc and 75.8 percent from the free throw line.

Smart finished with 11 points on a mere 3-of-9 shooting but added nine assists, five rebounds and four steals over 31 minutes in Boston's 107-94 triumph in Game 2 at TD Garden.

He finished with a 42-point triple-double, but Cavs coach Ty Lue believes James didn't have the same "punch" after taking the hit.

J.R. Smith had an ugly performance. LeBron would have played over 40 minutes if the game wasn't out of hand late in the fourth, and the intensity of those minutes is catching up to him against a team like Boston. "They did what they had to do and that was protect home, and now it's our time to try to do that as well". James, as great of a player as he is, can't carry a team to a seven game series win against a top-tier opponent without some help. "So don't hang your head, go down and score".

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Celtics survive 42-point night by LeBron, down Cavs