2018 NBA Playoffs: Celtics sink LeBron James, Cavs in Game 2 for surprising 2-0 series lead

The Celtics shockingly dominated the Cavaliers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals with a serious statement win, which left many wondering afterward if they picked this series wrong. And now they're up 2-0 after coming back from a double-digit deficit to take down the Cavs 107-94 in Game 2 on Tuesday night. 

It was all LeBron James early, as he poured in 21 points in the first quarter alone. There was simply nothing the Celtics could do, as LeBron got whatever he wanted on the offensive end. Even when the Celtics forced him into tough looks, he still knocked them down. But the Celtics were able to hang around, and only trailed by four points at the end of the first quarter. 

But the Cavaliers' role players -- specifically Kyle Korver -- started to knock down some shots in the second quarter, and the Cavs started to pull away. They led by double figures, and seemed to have control of the game. But late in the second quarter, LeBron took an inadvertent shot to the chin from Jayson Tatum's shoulder, and had to head to the locker room. He returned rather quickly, but the Celtics were able to gain a little momentum, cutting the deficit to just seven points at the break. 

And the Celtics picked up right where they left off in the third quarter. They played with their trademark intensity on the defensive end, and started to get some shots to fall on offense. It wasn't long before they took the lead back from Cleveland, and at the end of the frame they had flipped the score to lead by seven points themselves. Terry Rozier provided a huge boost, scoring 14 points in the frame. 

After pushing the lead to double digits early in the frame, the Celtics then held on the rest of the way despite LeBron's effort and a dirty play by J.R. Smith. The Cavs guard was given a flagrant foul for shoving Al Horford in mid-air. When the final buzzer sounded, the Celtics had a 13-point win, and a 2-0 lead in the series. Jaylen Brown led the way with 23 points, while six different players -- all the starters and Marcus Smart -- scored in double figures. 

LeBron James finished with 42 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds in the loss. 

NBA playoff scores for Tuesday, May 15

  • Game 2: Celtics 107, Cavaliers 94 (Box Score)

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Game 2: Celtics 107, Cavaliers 94

LeBron James came out ready to make a statement in Game 2, pouring in 21 points in the first quarter alone. He was simply set on automatic, knocking down seemingly impossible shots at time. 

The Celtics were able to hang around though, trailing by just four at the end of the first frame. But in the second quarter the Cavs' supporting cast started to pick up the slack, with Kyle Korver knocking down some shots. With the Celtics going cold, the Cavs were able to extend their lead to double digits. 

LeBron did have to leave for a few minutes due to what the Cavs called a neck strain after taking an inadvertant shot to the jaw from Jayson Tatum. At the break, the Cavs led by seven. 

But the third quarter belonged to the Celtics. They outscored the Cavs 36-22 in the frame, taking a seven-point lead of their own into the fourth quarter. Terry Rozier picked up his play to boost the Celtics' run. 

The fourth quarter belonged to the Celtics as well. They pushed their advantage to double figures early in the frame, then held off the Cavaliers' comeback attempt before pulling away in the final few minutes. 

LeBron James finished with 42 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds in defeat. Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 23 points, and six different players scored in double figures. 

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Igor Mello/CBS Sports


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