Cleveland Cavaliers turning to Tristan Thompson for Game 2 against Celtics

Celtics open East finals by ripping Cavaliers

"He's obviously the best player in the game", said Morris, who during the week boasted that he was up to the challenge and on Sunday explained why he wanted it.

However, Marcus Morris from the Celtics does not believe that James had a bad night. The new Cavs players struggled to find any rhythm with James, and Cleveland eventually moved Thomas and Crowder in separate trades, netting Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr.in return.

In that particular game, LeBron-following an 18-point loss to the Pacers in Game 1 of the first round-poured in a super-efficient 46 points (17-of-24 FG, 2-of-5 3PT, 10-of-13 FT) to go with 12 rebounds, five assists and just three turnovers to lift the Cavs to a crucial victory. "When I do check in the game, whether it's him or (Aron) Baynes, I just try to run the floor, set pick and rolls".

James finished with 15 points on five-of-16 shooting with seven rebounds and nine assists.

Baynes, the 31-year-old Queenslander, has been using the experience he gleaned from being part of the 2014 San Antonio Spurs' championship-winning team to help guide an injury-ravaged Celtics squad relying on the talented but inexperienced Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier. And his 21 playoff wins against the Celtics were also the most against them during that span.

Boston, on the other hand, was aggressive in game 1 against the Cavs offensively. It is surprising to see the Cavaliers outclassed when they have LeBron James - one of the greatest players to have ever graced the courts.

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LeBron James will play with more vigor and emotion, and basically play better. The Boston Celtics are -1.0 over the Cavaliers in game 2.

"I expect him to have a big response", Love said of James on Monday. This is somewhat understandable given that the Raptors had now lost 10-straight games to the Cavaliers in the playoffs, and the consolation after those series typically was that this was LeBron James, and he simply does not lose in the Eastern Conference, which he's dominated for more than a decade. That was when the Cavs called a "timeout", as James recalled, and he used the pause to signal the end of his narrative, at which point his performance was met with some amused applause. The Cavs have proven during past rounds that they can take the opposition out of the contest early with an explosive stretch, so Boston must be prepared to handle such a situation.

Beitar is second in the Israeli league with one game left, and has qualified for next season's Europa League.

Marcus Morris didn't defend James the entire game, but when he did, he actually backed up his quote. "We weighed it before the series started, but we'd won seven out of eight and we weren't going to adjust until someone beat us and we didn't play well with that lineup that got us to this point".

The 27-year-old big man, who has appeared to iron out his personal affairs after cheating allegations overshadowed the birth of his daughter with Khloé Kardashian, is back on Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue's radar as the team prepares for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Had had his Cavaliers cave in to a 26-point deficit at the half, becoming the biggest halftime playoff gap in James's career since he entered the National Basketball Association right out of high school.

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