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20 May 2017, 02:19 | Charlene Valdez
There's stealing homecourt advantage from an opponent, and then there's what the Cavaliers did to the Celtics on Friday night in Boston.
The Celtics finished Game 2 shooting a putrid 37.2 percent from the field and they turned the ball over 21 times. "And we when we went back to the locker room, our training staff and doctors got with him. We put ourselves in a hole early".
Losing the first quarter, especially by double-digits, is incredibly hard to recover from against a Cavs squad arguably playing its best basketball of the season.
Cleveland's 130-86 victory Friday night was the Celtics' worst home playoff loss ever, and just three points shy of its franchise playoff-worst, 47-point loss in Game 1 of the 1995 first round against Orlando.
Cleveland has received 20-plus points from three different starters in both games this series. "They're not No. 1 in the East for no reason".
Thomas was lost to a right hip strain at halftime.
Asked how much that hurt his team, Stevens said, "Not 44 points worth".
"I think ultimately they were terrific, we were poor". We still haven't done that.
Here are some other notes from Celtics-Cavs Game 2.
Contrary to their usual temperament, the Celtics seemed clearly rattled early into the game, with Thomas and Stevens giving away easy technicals half way through the 2nd quarter as well as the rest of their roster looking clearly shaken up and out of the game, already down 31 in the middle of the second, ending up as a 41 point deficit at the half, down 72 - 31, the worst ever deficit in National Basketball Association playoff history, thanks to a surreal clutch fade on the buzzer from JR Smith to seal the record. The Cavs got 90 points from their starting five. Still, it was the Celtics' worst home playoff loss.
It was the biggest playoff win ever for the Cavaliers, who now have the luxury of hosting games three and four in Cleveland.
- James now is 18 steals behind Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen's playoff record.
The win was the Cavaliers' 13th straight in the playoffs, dating back to the last three games of the finals previous year.
Barring a shocking conference finals comeback by the Celtics or San Antonio Spurs, it looks like the Cavs and Golden State Warriors will meet for a record third straight NBA Finals.
Meanwhile, Thomas was confident and insisted the Celtics weren't intimidated by the Cavs.
The Cavaliers built a 31-point lead in the second quarter, which was the largest deficit the C's had faced all season. They outscored the Celtics 40-13 in the 2nd quarter alone, and led by 50 at one point in the 4th.
As complimentary as Stevens was of the Cavs after the series opener, he didn't believe a defeatist attitude would creep into the Celtics' minds.
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Before they knew it, the Cavaliers found themselves in the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors last season. The Celtics know there were a lot of problems in game one that need to be fixed just to keep in close in game two.
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