Cleveland Cavaliers thrash Boston Celtics in historic victory
20 May 2017, 03:03 | Pamela Mathis
The Cavs put on a clinic against the Celtics, crushing their spirits with crisp defensive execution matched only by their offensive onslaught. Even with James and the rest of the starters sitting out the fourth quarter, the 130 points was the most ever scored by the franchise in a playoff game.
When the dust settled, the Cavs had a 72-31 half-time lead - the biggest in National Basketball Association playoff history.
Gerald Green said he was surprised when he realized Thomas wasn't on the court at the start of the second half.
Boston didn't get any breaks from the National Basketball Association, which might have provided James with extra motivation by announcing the finalists for its regular-season awards Friday night. Unlike Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Kawhi Leonard, LeBron didn't spend every bit of his precious energy on the 82-game grind.
James' teams have now been up 2-0 in playoff series 21 times, he's gone to win the series in the previous 20.
James had 22 points in the first half, when he also collected six assists and had three blocked shots, including a chase-down rejection of Bradley that was reminiscent of the one against Andre Iguodala in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. I think, ultimately, they were terrific, we were poor.
"It's honestly just embarrassing", Celtics guard Avery Bradley said. "Point blank, period", said Brown.
The Celts will look to do that by turning the page as quickly as they can.
With 1:47 left in the third quarter, LeBron James subbed out.
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The Celtics suffered their worst postseason home loss in history and fell just three points shy of matching their worst playoff defeat.
Very opposed to Game 1 of this series, Cleveland were able to get their three balls raining, dropping 19 of 39 attempts in comparison to the Celtics measly 8 from 27 effort.
And when Thomas didn't return to the lineup with a right hip injury in the second half, the Celtics were then without their only true player who can create his own shot off the dribble.
Cavaliers: James is first player with at least 30 points in eight straight playoff games since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1970. Thomas played like Muggsy Bogues' character in "Space Jam" after the Monstars sapped his talents. Al Horford didn't score until second half and finished with 11 points.
The Celtics had just one day off before the Eastern Conference Finals began, so shooting 31.6 percent from three-point range and 55.6 percent from the free-throw line was defensible.
Cleveland went on a 12-0 run from there and never relented.
Cleveland's halftime edge surpassed the Detroit Piston's 40-point lead during the 1987 playoffs.
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