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20 May 2017, 02:10 | Pamela Mathis
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Even after handling the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals, small forward LeBron James felt the Cleveland Cavaliers could play better, and maybe, just maybe he was onto something.
But following the game, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge told The Vertical that Thomas had undergone tests on the hip following Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals and that there were doubts that he would be able to play in the eventual Game 7.
Cavaliers: James is first player with at least 30 points in eight straight playoff games since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1970. It is unclear when he sustained the injury.
The Wine and Gold took a two-touchdown lead after one quarter and things just got worse for Boston from there - much worse - as Cleveland took a 41-point lead into intermission (the largest halftime edge in NBA Playoff history) and barely looked back in the second half, handing one of the NBA's proudest franchises a 130-86 thumping at TD Garden. "We kind of go through the typical season progression of how good they are and then in March and April we've got to answer all the questions about what's wrong with Cleveland, and it's like, 'Oh, they're going to be fine, trust us, ' and then now they're right who they are".
"It's one game. I don't care if you win by 200 points", Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said. "As a man, as a basketball team, it will say a lot about us how we respond".
The NBA announced the three finalists for that and its five other individual awards Friday. Rookie Jaylen Brown scored a career playoff-high 19 points for Boston.
"Our team is in a great groove, and I'm happy to be a part of that groove", said LeBron following the lopsided victory.
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Lue chuckled when he found out after the game that James was not a finalist. Every dollar you give buys four meals for the hungry. They knew what the Cavaliers were going to do - what they've done all season, according to both Thomas and Brad Stevens. "This league knows what I bring to the table".
Once again, LeBron James led the way - finishing with 30 points, going 12-for-18 from the floor, 4-of-6 from long-distance, adding seven assists, four boards, four steals and three blocks in just three quarters of work.
This one more like rubbing the Celtics' noses in the fact that they just couldn't stop him.
With 3:51 left in the same period, Celtics radio analyst Cedric Maxwell waved a red flag at Cavs analyst Jim Chones and the rest of the Cleveland crew sitting one row below him.
"It's hard to take", Al Horford said. "We put ourselves in a hole early".
Celtics: Stevens started Gerald Green in place of Amir Johnson. The Celtics missed their first six shots. "Move" and he hit a pair of first-quarter 3-pointers.
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Cavs set NBA record with 41-point halftime lead
The 41-point deficit ranked as the largest in National Basketball Association playoff history, breaking a 30-year-old record. Oh well, at least the Celtics have the #1 pick! This series is over . "I don't want to put that on any one guy.
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But U.S. oil producers are not paying any attention to the plea, and the number of rigs has more than doubled over the past year. Bank of America, for instance, last week lowered its 2017 target for Brent crude by $7 a barrel to $54.