USA Today Sports

Cavs have record-setting blowout win over Celtics in Game 2

The Cavs blew out the Celtics by 44 points in Game Two, 130-86 to take a commanding 2-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals

The Boston Celtics wanted to make a statement that the Game One one-sided loss to the Cavaliers was just a blip in the screen.

But it was the Cavs who made the statement. 

The Cavs manhandled the Celtics in the first half and coasted to a 130-86 win in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals. In the first half, the Cavs built an NBA playoff record 41-point lead at halftime, 72-31 thanks to a 40-13 second quarter pasting of Boston. Cleveland led by as much as 51 points at 113-62 in the fourth quarter. It was the most points in Cavalier playoff history. Cleveland takes a 2-0 lead in the series. 

"We're very focused and we have a lot of confidence," Kyrie Irving said. "We were trying to be aggressive and play hard for the full 48 minutes and we did that."

The Cavs have led all 96 minutes of the first two games of the series and will now return to Cleveland to play Game Three and Four at home. Cleveland has now won 13-straight playoff games dating back to last year's NBA Finals. The Cavs tied the 1988-89 Lakers for the NBA playoff record for wins in a row. They are 10-0 in the 2017 playoffs. 

The 'Big Three' combined for 74 points and didn't play the final 14 minutes. LeBron James scored 30 points, while Kevin Love had 23 and Irving scored 21 points. In the first half, they combined 54 points with James (22), Love (18) and Irving (14). James has scored 30 or more points in eight-straight playoff games and nine of the 10 playoff games this season.

After an early run by Boston in the first quarter that cut the Cavs lead to 11-10, Cleveland went on a 12-0 run that resulted in a 61-21 scoring spree to break the game wide open. The first half finished with J.R. Smith hitting a fall away jump shot at the buzzer to give the Cavs a 41-point lead at the half, 72-31. 

Cleveland didn't let up in the third quarter as they increased their lead to by as much as 49 points with 57 seconds left in the third quarter, 102-53 on a trey by Kyle Korver. The Cavs starters rested the final moments of the third quarter and all of the fourth. The Cavs led 103-57 after three quarters.

The Cavs second team built a 51-point lead in the fourth quarter at 113-62.

Rookie Jaylon Brown led the Celtics with 19 points. 

Tyronn Lue said the Cavs are pleased with the win, but not satisfied heading back to Cleveland. 

"It was one game," Lue said. "(Boston) was the No. 1 seed for a reason."

Tip Ins

King James: LeBron James started 5-of-8 from the field and once again, was nearly unstoppable as he scored 30 points. It was the eighth-straight game that James scored at least 30 points in the playoffs this season, tying Michael Jordan. He has scored 30 or more points in nine of the 10 playoff games. James was 12-of-18 from the field and hit 4-of-6 from behind the arc.

Double Love: Kevin Love continued to play strong scoring 23 points and grabbing 12 rebounds on 12-of-18 from the field, including 3-of-6 from three-point range. 

Kyrie's Back: Kyrie Irving scored 21 points on 7-of-14 shooting, including 4-of-9 from three-point range. Irving scored just 11 points in Game One. 

Defense: The Cavaliers held the Celtics to just 36 points in the first half of Game One and then bettered themselves by holding Boston to just 31 points in Game Two. Boston shot just 26.8 percent in the first half on 11-of-41 and 21.4 percent from three-point range. Boston finished 36.9 percent from the field and just 30.8 percent from behind the arc.

Three Ball: The Cavs hit 19-of-39 for 48.7 percent from behind the arc. Meanwhile, Boston finished at 30.8 percent.

Thomas Hurt: Celtics start Isaiah Thomas was limited to just 2 points. Thomas started 0-of-6 from the field and showed his frustration in the first half as he picked up his first technical of the playoffs. Thomas scored just two points on free throws in the first half. Late in the second quarter, Thomas was limping and he didn't start the second half. It was reported that Thomas had a strained right hip and he wouldn't play the rest of the game. HIs status for Game 3 is uncertain. 

Helping Out: The Cavs had 28 assists to just 12 turnovers. LeBron James led the way with 7 assists, while Deron Williams added six. 

RJ Adds: Richard Jefferson came off the bench for 10 points to complete the Cavs double figure scoring. J. R. Smith had nine points. 

Changing it Up: Celtics coach Brad Stevens changed his starting lineup and decided to go small by inserting Gerald Green at small forward and moving Jae Crowder to power forward in place of Amir Johnson. The Celtics had won every game that Green started in the playoffs.  Green hit two treys in the first quarter.

Slow Start: The Celtics were held scoreless in their first three minutes as they didn't score until 8:52 left in the first quarter.

Next Up: The Cavs will return home for Games 3 and 4 at Quicken Loans Arena. Game 3 is Sunday night and Game 4 is Tuesday night. Both games will tip off at 8:30 pm. If the Cavs can maintain their home court advantage, they will not have to return to Boston, who finished with the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. 

Wine and Gold Report Top Stories