Cavaliers pummel Celtics in record-setting fashion

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Getty Images

The Cleveland Cavaliers establish a new National Basketball Association playoff record by holding a 41-point halftime lead over the Boston Celtics.

Friday night's beating in Beantown was thorough. Boston trailed 72-31 at the half. Can the Celtics and head coach Brad Stevens make the needed adjustments to pull off the upset? James lead the Cavs with 22 first half points, Kevin Love added 18 points and Irving chipped in 14 points. "He's playing at a high level". "When we're getting stops defensively and we're guarding the way we've been guarding, he's able to get out in transition and get to the basket".

Surprise starter Gerald Green owned the Celtics' only made 3-pointers midway through the second quarter, but also allowed a series of easy buckets early.

"It is embarrassing, like I said, but it's a game we lost", Bradley said. Still, it was the Celtics' worst home playoff loss. "It's going to be tough".

The Cavs' big 3 combined for 74 points, outscoring the Celtics 74-57 in the first three quarters.

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Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown probably does remember.

The series now shifts back to Cleveland, where the Celtics will need to quickly rebound if they are to have a chance at the series returning to Boston.

LeBron played all but two minutes of game one, and was such a scoring machine that he left Boston's defense helpless. "But I don't want to put that on any one guy". Can you do that? So I gotta come out and compete just like he's got to come out and compete. I hope not. I mean they're a good team, they play hard. Love posted 21 points with 12 rebounds in just 27 minutes of action. LeBron James might not come out and say that he was disappointed about not being named one of the three finalists for the NBA MVP, but his performance in Game 2 might have just done the talking for him.

Game 2 was a demonstration of the Cavaliers' complete arsenal of weapons — all clicking together as a cohesive and fine-tuned machine.

Up Next - With the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals in the books - and the Cavaliers coming home having thoroughly dominated the Celtics - the series shifts back to Cleveland for next two. And if Thomas ends up not being able to go in Game 3, then what?

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