Cavs Lose to Celtics in Game 2

Just like the regular season, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ performance in the playoffs has been very uneven. After nearly getting knocked out in the first round by the Indiana Pacers, the Cavs easily swept the Toronto Raptors to reach the Eastern Conference Finals. Unfortunately, the poor play returned in a blowout loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the conference finals. While the team played better in Game 2 last night, they still left the TD Garden with a loss.

 

Fueled by a dominant performance by LeBron James, the Cavaliers got off to a great start last night. They held a four-point lead after scoring 27 points in the first quarter. The lead was extended to seven points at halftime with a 28-point second quarter. Cleveland looked poised to even the series, but they completely fell apart in the second half.

 

There is a reason why Brad Stevens is considered one of the best coaches in the NBA. After making a few changes to the gameplan in the locker room at halftime, the Celtics looked like an entirely different team in the second half. The Boston offense was simply unstoppable in the third quarter. After scoring 36 points in the third, the Celtics held a seven-point lead with 12 minutes left to play.

 

Boston slowed the game down in the fourth quarter to limit Cleveland’s possessions. It is hard to mount a comeback if you do not get many shot opportunities. The slow pace frustrated the Cavaliers. After playing solid for three quarters, they were unable to get anything going in the fourth. Cleveland ultimately lost 107-94 despite getting 42 points from LeBron James.

 

Cleveland’s title chances hinge on finding a way to win Game 3. The crucial game will be played at Quicken Loans Arena on Saturday, May 19.

Cavaliers Get Big Overtime Win Over Raptors in Game 1

After surviving a tough seven-game series with the Indiana Pacers, the Cleveland Cavaliers only got one day to rest before they faced off against the Toronto Raptors in the second round on Tuesday night. Defeating the top team in the Eastern Conference was always going to be a hard task, but getting almost no rest made the Cavaliers big underdogs going into Game 1.

The Cavaliers looked like an extremely tired team throughout the first quarter. They struggled to shoot the ball with tired legs. After only scoring 19 points in the opening quarter, Cleveland trailed Toronto by 14 points. The team miraculously came alive in the second quarter. A 38-point quarter put the Cavaliers within three points at halftime.

Toronto jumped out to a 13-point lead early in the third quarter, but Cleveland refused to give up. They shrank the deficit to only five points before the start of the fourth quarter. The Cavaliers continued to battle throughout the final quarter before tying the game with just 30 seconds left on the clock. Both teams missed game-winning shots in the final seconds to send the game to overtime.

The first 48 minutes of the game were exhausting, so both teams struggled on offense in overtime. The Raptors were down by one point with just 3.4 seconds on the clock when Fred VanVleet missed a three-pointer. After Tristan Thompson secured the rebound, the Cavaliers won the first game of the series 113-112.

The Raptors were the best home team in the NBA this season, so pulling off the upset was huge for the Cavaliers. They will look to steal another game in Toronto when Game 2 is played on Thursday, May 3. Winning the first two games will put Cleveland in a great position to advance to the conference finals.