Celtics follow euphoria of winning lottery with dud on court

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

LeBron James had 38 points, nine rebounds and seven assists and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Boston Celtics 117-104 on Wednesday night in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Cleveland's LeBron James has been named in the All-NBA first team for a record-tying 11th time, and Houston's James Harden is the lone player to be a unanimous first-team selection this season. I know I can impact the game whether it shows up in the stat sheet or not.

"He came through for us", James said.

But there's no denying it has started with James, who has scored at least 35 points in five straight games.

"He was just being aggressive", Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said.

"He's playing at a high level right now, and that's the reason we're riding him so much". "It's an uphill battle and we just got to be better to start the game".

Game 2 is Friday night in Boston.

"You can't dig yourself in a big hole like that against them", Boston coach Brad Stevens said.

LeBron James scored 22 points in the first half.

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Golden State's Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant were second-team choices, joined by Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo, Utah's Rudy Gobert and Boston's Isaiah Thomas. On the lone one-on-one possession in which Thomas was guarded by James - in the second quarter - the Boston guard was called for a traveling violation after James cut off his driving lane, contested his awkward layup attempt and forced Thomas to catch his own shot, resulting in a turnover. They were the better team tonight.

"They hit us first. They were more physical. on both ends of the floor, and that was the difference". "We can't let that happen again".

The shoulder was working just fine Wednesday, and he scored in the paint and from the outside. "We'll make sure it's different on Game 2". "We have to be ready for it", he said.

Things got a little testy in the third quarter when Boston's Marcus Smart and Cleveland's Thompson got nose-to-nose and had to be separated by referees. The Celtics were 11 of 41 from the field.

It was a performance reminiscent of the 6-foot-10 power forward's big-number days with the Minnesota Timberwolves, when he was the first option on offense and often the second and third as well. Boston was 2 for 16 and shot 35 percent overall in the first half.

A loss Friday would also leave Boston with the daunting proposition of having to win four out of five games to take the series - a almost impossible task against a team that since James returned to Cleveland in 2014-15 has a 33-4 playoff record against Eastern Conference opponents.

Celtics: Finished with 14 turnovers, and were outrebounded 32-27.

The Cavs, playing their first game since May 7, put on a clinic, leading wire to wire.

He said the help must come often and faster. "I always said that". "Obviously he got comfortable with what we were doing on the defensive end, and he had his way".

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