The Celtics arrived at the Garden on Wednesday believing they could claim sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference. They left licking their wounds after being routed by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Behind 36 points from LeBron James and a suffocating defensive effort — not to mention a domination of the boards — the Cavaliers cruised to a 114-91 victory that gave them first place in the East with four games left to play.
The Celtics led 20-19 after one, but Cleveland (51-27) took control with a 38-point second quarter to open a 57-42 halftime lead and the C’s never seriously threatened.
Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics (50-28) with 26 points on 9-of-19 shooting, but he got absolutely no help from his supporting cast. The C’s shot just 7-for-33 on 3-pointers (.212) and put only three other players in double figures, led by Jae Crowder’s 13.
The Celtics were outrebounded 51-38 and allowed Kevin Love to grab 16 boards alongside his 15 points.
For more on the game, including how badly it exposed the Celtics as playoff pretenders, check out this column.
Full article @ LeBron James (36), Cavaliers pummel Celtics to claim first place in Eastern Conference
Source: GreenStreet Blog