5:49 p.m.-CLEVELAND CAVALIERS FALL TO BOSTON CELTICS IN GAME 1
The Cleveland Cavaliers’ fourth straight trip to the Eastern Conference Finals had a rocky start at TD Garden in Boston Sunday.
Despite having three days to prepare for Game 1, as opposed to jumping into another series, as they did between rounds one and two of the 2018 NBA Playoffs, the Cavaliers struggled to find consistency on the offensive end of the floor and suffered a 108-83 loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 1.
For the first time this postseason, small forward LeBron James was not the Cavaliers’ leading scorer in the game, as center Kevin Love totaled 17 points, pulled down eight rebounds and handed out three assists in the loss.
James went five of 16 from the field, but missed all five of his three-pointers on the way to a 15-point showing against the Celtics.
Reserve guards Rodney Hood (11 points) and Jordan Clarkson (10) also scored in double figures in the loss, but that was no match for what the Celtics were able to do on the offensive end of the floor, particularly in the first half.
Four of Boston’s five starters scored in double figures, and three of those players, shooting guard Jaylen Brown (23 points), power forward Marcus Morris (21) and center Al Horford (20) reached the 20-point plateau.
The Cavaliers will look to even up the best-of-seven series with the Celtics in Boston on Tuesday night.
5:18 p.m.-JEFF GREEN HITS BUZZER-BEATER, CAVS DOWN BY 14 HEADING INTO FOURTH
Nothing like a buzzer-beating shot to give the Cleveland Cavaliers a little spark.
Reserve forward Jeff Green tracked down an offensive rebound, turned, fired up and knocked down a jumper from the free-throw line extended, which cut down the Boston Celtics’ lead to 14 points, 78-64, heading into the fourth quarter of play in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden in Boston.
In addition to Green’s buzzer-beater, the Cavaliers got nine points from center Kevin Love and eight from small forward LeBron James in the third quarter.
As a team, the Cavaliers shot 50 percent (nine of 18) from the field and three for eight from three-point range in the third quarter, while holding the Celtics to seven of 19 shooting (36.8 percent) out of the halftime break.
5:00 p.m.-CAVALIERS TRYING TO MOUNT COMEBACK AGAINST CELTICS
The Cleveland Cavaliers had a 26-point hole to dig out of at beginning the third quarter of play against the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden, and they started with a modest run out of the intermission.
After both teams started slowly offensively, the Cavaliers put together a 12-6 run and closed the deficit to 20 points, 67-47, with 6:54 to play in the third quarter.
During the run, the Cavaliers made their first two three-pointers of the game, as guards Kyle Korver and George Hill connected from long distance.
4:40 p.m.-CAVALIERS TRAIL CELTICS, 61-35, AT HALFTIME OF GAME 1
The Cleveland Cavaliers knew the Boston Celtics would be revved up to play in front of their fans at TD Garden in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals, but not even they could have predicted the start from the No. 2 seed in the conference.
The second-seeded Celtics went on a 26-2 scoring run over a six-and-a-half-minute stretch in the first quarter and never looked back on the way to building a 61-35 advantage over the Cavaliers after the first half of play.
The Cavaliers made only 15 of their 47 attempts from the field and were off the mark with all 12 of their three-point tries in the first half, and while they were shooting 31.9 percent from the floor, the Celtics were having no trouble finding the hoop.
Boston made 24 of its first 40 attempts (60 percent) from the field and buried five of their 12 looks from three-point range over the first 24 minutes of action.
Guard Jaylen Brown and center Al Horford led the way for the Celtics with 18 and 14 points, respectively, while center Kevin Love (eight) and small forward LeBron James (seven) were the Cavaliers’ top scorers in the first half.
4:25 p.m.-CELTICS GO BACK UP BY 20 POINTS
The Cleveland Cavaliers just cannot seem to get the deficit under 15 points against the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden in Boston.
Every time the Cavaliers got deficit down to 15 points, the Celtics responded with a small scoring run, the latter of which was capped off by a Jayson Tatum triple from the top of the key, and that gave Boston a 47-27 lead over Cleveland with 5:25 to play in the first half.
The Cavaliers’ shooting woes continued from the first quarter, as they made just four of their 15 attempts from the field in the first half of the second period.
4:07 p.m.-CAVS TRAIL CELTICS BY 18 POINTS AFTER FIRST QUARTER
The biggest difference between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics in the first quarter of Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden in Boston: seven made shots by the home team.
The second-seeded Celtics and fourth-seeded Cavaliers took the same amount of shots in the first quarter, but the hosts made 14 of their 22 looks from the field, including a pair of three-pointers, and that led to a 36-18 advantage after the first 12 minutes.
In addition to getting only seven shots to fall, the Cavaliers missed all six of their first-quarter three-point attempts.
Celtics guard Jaylen Brown and center Al Horford led the way with 13 and 11 points, respectively, in that first quarter.
LeBron James scored a team-high five points for the Cavaliers in the first quarter.
3:58 p.m.-CELTICS CRUISING EARLY AGAINST CAVALIERS
The Boston Celtics had lost eight of their last nine playoff games against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, but they started off Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden with quite the scoring run.
Already in the midst of an 8-1 run, the Celtics extended that into a 22-2 scoring streak and took a 25-9 lead over the Cavaliers with 3:35 to play in the first quarter at TD Garden in Boston.
It was only after the deficit got to 16 points that the Cavaliers called their first full timeout of the game.
3:50 p.m.-CELTICS TAKE 11-7 LEAD EARLY IN FIRST QUARTER
The Cleveland Cavaliers had a strong start to the first quarter of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, but the Boston Celtics answered with an 8-1 scoring run that brought the home faithful at TD Garden to their feet in celebration.
The scoring run gave the second-seeded Celtics an 11-7 lead over the fourth-seeded Cavaliers with 6:59 to play in the first quarter.
Despite picking up two fouls early, power forward Marcus Morris led the Celtics with four points and fellow forward Al Horford had three, while center Kevin Love (four points) and small forward LeBron James (three) were the only Cavaliers to score over the first five minutes of play.
3:10 p.m.-GAME INFORMATION
CLEVELAND -- For the Cleveland Cavaliers to get back to the NBA Finals for the fourth consecutive season, they must go through a familiar foe.
After fighting through a seven-game series against the Indiana Pacers in round one and sweeping the Toronto Raptors out of the Eastern Conference Semifinals just as they did in 2017, the Cavaliers will compete against the Boston Celtics in the East Finals for the second consecutive season.
The Cavaliers clinched their spot in the Eastern Conference Finals with the four-game sweep over the Raptors in the second round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs, while the Celtics, despite being injury-ravaged for the entire season, earned their way back to the third round with a 4-1 series win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
3:00 p.m.-RAUCOUS ATMOSPHERE EXPECTED
LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are no strangers to playing the Boston Celtics in the NBA Playoffs, not after playing the legendary east-coast franchise in three of the last four postseasons.
And if history has taught the Cavaliers anything, the Boston faithful that pack into TD Garden will be rocking for Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals today.
“Their crowd is amazing, and no matter how good you’re playing, no matter how bad you’re playing, they’re going to ride with you, and that’s the great thing about their fans,” Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said.
“They could be down 30, and they will be cheering like they’re up 30. That’s why it’s so good for those guys to play there. They have the environment of no matter when things are going bad, they still stick with their team and they’re going to be cheering and chanting.”
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