The Cleveland Cavaliers sewed up their series against the Boston Celtics Thursday night with their fourth victory in five games. Three of them, including Thursday night, were decided quite early.
Yet again, the Cavs jumped out to a big start to build a lead that Boston could not overcome. This time, Cleveland built a 12-3 lead less than three minutes into the game.
Kevin Love, as he has in the majority of the series, got the Cavs started out of the gates. He hit a 3-pointer to account for the first points of the night by either team. Boston answered back with a 3-pointer from Marcus Smart, but Love then scored five consecutive points to push Cleveland ahead 8-3.
Love did not attempt another 3-pointer the rest of the first quarter, leaving him with a 10-for-15 mark from beyond the arc during the series’ five opening frames.
LeBron James scored the next four points of the first quarter off of two layups and pushed Cleveland ahead 12-3 with 9:07 left in the stanza. Boston fought back to cut the Cavs lead to 17-10, but that’s the closest the C’s would get the rest of the night as Cleveland ran away with its series-clinching victory.
LeBron James wasn’t just good Thursday night. He was great.
James finished Game 5 with 35 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in less than 35 minutes of playing time. He became just the second player in modern playoff history to accrue such numbers in such a limited amount of playing time, joining Isiah Thomas, according to basketball-reference.com.
James also tallied three steals and a blocked shot while committing just two turnovers.
As one might expect, the Cavs were pretty impressive while James was on the court. Cleveland outscored Boston by 36 points during his 35 minutes of action.
Much of the talk heading into this game was about how well James has played in close-out games. Add tonight's performance to that list.
Box Score Nuggets
- Boston's starters committed 12 turnovers, while Cleveland's entire team committed only 11.
- Avery Bradley led Boston with 23 points. No other Celtic scored more than 14.
- Kevin Love grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds, while no member of the Celtics grabbed more than six.
- LeBron James scored a game-high 35 points and dished out a game-high eight assists.
- Boston outrebounded Cleveland 39-38.
- The Celtics shot only 43.0 percent from the field, while the Cavs shot 56.5 percent.
- Cleveland never trailed and led by as many as 39 points.
- The Cavs shot 19-for-41 (46.3 percent) from long range.
- Gerald Green and Deron Williams led all reserves with 14 points apiece.
- The Cavs scored 43 points during the first quarter.
- Terry Rozier came off the bench to tally 10 points, seven assists and four rebounds for the C's.
Quote of the Night
It’s pretty cool to think about that in three weeks you’ve got the No. 1 pick in the Draft.
Brad Stevens on what's next for the Celtics.