Keys to the Game
Key Moment
Key Player
Box Score Nuggets
Quote of the Night

Key Moment

Many expected the inexperienced Celtics to be a bit shell-shocked at the start of Sunday afternoon’s Game 1 in Cleveland. They weren’t.

Until the second half.

During the first half, Boston looked like the team that finished the season 24-12. They competed at a high level and showed no signs of intimidation while taking on LeBron James and his Cavs on a national stage.

The Celtics, in fact, led for most of the first half as it showcased strong team basketball. Isaiah Thomas (12 points) and Kelly Olynyk (10 points) led the way for Boston, which trailed by eight at halftime after Kyrie Irving beat the first-half buzzer with a 3.

Everything changed on Boston’s end at the start of the second half. It looked like the team many thought they would see during the first quarter.

Turnovers and overall poor decision-making allowed the Cavaliers to pull ahead by as many as 20 points during the third quarter. The Celtics looked completely out of sync, and as if their bodies couldn’t keep up with their minds.

If you’ve watched this Celtics team throughout the season, you already know that it would never give up. It didn’t on Sunday.

Boston sliced the Cavs lead all the way down to six late in the third quarter but it just didn’t have enough in the tank to finish off the comeback. Cleveland built its lead back up and eventually took Game 1 by a score of 113-100.

Key Player

Think about how good Isaiah Thomas has been for the Boston Celtics since joining them at the trade deadline. Can you believe that amidst all of that great play, he had never tallied a double-double?

Believe it or not, that’s a fact. A fact that’s now of the past.

Thomas was Boston’s best player on Sunday while racking up his first double-double with the team. He was fantastic as the offensive end.

Many consider Thomas to be the frontrunner for the Sixth Man of the Year award because of his impact at the offensive end. He had it all working on Sunday, as he not only scored, but also helped his teammates to score.

Thomas poured in a team-high 22 points on 6-of-14 shooting from the field. His total nearly doubled the next-best scoring tally of any other Celtic, which was 12 points by both Evan Turner and Kelly Olynyk.

Thomas reached double-double status by adding in a game-high 10 assists. No other player in the game dished out more than seven assists in the game.

Not a bad start to Thomas’ postseason career, but the Celtics will need him to be even better if they’re going to take Game 2.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Iasiah Thomas (22 points) was the only Celtics player to score more than 12 points.
  • Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 30 points and made his first five 3-pointers of the game.
  • Cleveland outrebounded Boston 46-34.
  • Thomas dished out a game-high 10 assists.
  • Timofey Mozgov blocked three shots, while Boston blocked only four as a team.
  • Other than Thomas, Kevin Love was the only other player who logged a double-double. He finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds.
  • Cleveland made four more free throws (26) than Boston attempted (22).
  • Thomas shot a perfect 8-of-8 from the free-throw line.
  • Cleveland shot 13-of-31 from 3-point range, including a buzzer-beater at the end of both the second and third quarters.
  • Boston's bench outscored Cleveland's bench 55-29.
  • Cleveland scored at least 27 points during each of the first three quarters.
  • Seven Celtics grabbed one steal apiece to account for the team total of seven.

Quote of the Night

This is what great teams do to you... You have to pick your poison. You have to pay attention to LeBron, (and to Love and to Irving.

Brad Stevens on how difficult it is to defend the Cavs

Key Player
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