Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Ranking the 5 best Eastern Conference teams LeBron James has destroyed

Ranking the 5 best Eastern Conference teams LeBron James has destroyed

Cleveland will need more from George Hill and Kyle Korver who only had five points each, and more from J.R. Smith, who missed seven of nine shots on the way to four points.

"I just try to lead "em the best way that I can and really lead by example", Horford told the ABC broadcast about the Celtics" young roster after the game. Not only did it show toughness from Morris, it showed this Boston Celtics team is not going to back down from anyone. "We go out there, we compete".

"We've got each other's backs, and that's it". It is just one game, and it wouldn't be out of the question for LeBron to turn around and roll off several consecutive wins now to win the series with it looking easy by the end of it, but perhaps there are some real lessons that can be learned from that game for how the Raptors handled Cleveland.

James went to the locker room with what the Cavs' medical staff described as a sprained neck, but when he returned to the court he did not have the same impact.

"We really lean on him", said Brown of Horford.

And the chief credit goes to Brad Stevens, the innovative coach of the Boston Celtics.

The Warriors lead the series 1-0. Terry Rozier led the way with 14 points in the quarter, and he provided two of the loudest points of the game with a monstrous jam that gave Boston a 74-71 lead.

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Some Cavaliers fans might have been muttering the same words, though, considering the timing and impact of Smith's shove of Horford.

Smith was issued a grade one flagrant foul, while both he and Smart were issued technical fouls.

Horford's jump shot with 2:54 remaining pushed the Celtics' advantage to 103-89.

James, who came in averaging 34.3 points, 9.4 rebounds and 9.0 assists per game in the playoffs, was gone with 7:10 left - after being hounded into a 5-for-16/15-point game by Morris & Co. After quickly cutting into an 11-point deficit with a pair of buckets by Marcus Morris just before the halftime horn, Boston flipped the switch by outscoring the Cavs 36-22 in the third to take a seven point lead.

Right now, James is still focused on helping the Cavaliers make the NBA Finals, but in a few months, he will be pondering where he wants to play next season. His first-quarter barrage crescendoed with an utterly absurd, late-clock fadeaway 3-pointer in front of the Cavaliers bench that helped Cleveland open as much as an 11-point first-half lead. "I think they had a great game plan in Game 1". Since then he has played no more than three seasons for each of the three previous teams before signing with the Boston Celtics in the 2017 offseason.

The only thing that seemed to roar louder than the TD Garden crowd was Marcus Morris.

"We came back down, we ran a set for Jordan Clarkson, and he came off and missed it. We have another opportunity to be better as a ball club coming on Tuesday night [Wednesday morning, PHL Time], and we'll see what happens".

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