Boston Celtics

By John ‘The Dude’ Hardiman,

Mother’s Day became all about the Boston Celtics, who led by as much as 28, before going onto beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 108-83, in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Sunday afternoon’s game in Boston marked the first time these two teams have met since mid-February.

During his pregame interview with the voice of the Celtics Sean Grande, C’s head coach Brad Stevens said Marcus Morris was getting the start to matchup defensively with Kevin Love and company.

Morris earned himself a quick two fouls not even three minutes into the game. But he didn’t draw another until late in the second, which was relieving for the C’s, who were relying on his play on both ends of the floor.

The Cavs quickly jumped out to a 7-4 lead almost three minutes in, but the Celtics responded with a massive run throughout the opening quarter.

James finally ended Boston’s 17-0 run with an easy basket with just 4:35 left in the first.

And before the close of the first quarter, Jayson Tatum nailed this buzzer-beater to top off a dominating start to Game 1 for the Celtics.

After shooting 63.6 percent from the field and out-scoring the Cavs 32-11 over the last 9:18 of the first, the Celtics held a 36-18 lead heading into the second.

The Celtics kept their foot on the gas throughout the second, while going on another huge 21-10 run over the course of 8:43 to close out the first-half.

With Boston smothering the Cavaliers on both ends of the floor, while finishing on the offensive end of things, they’d go onto take a commanding, 61-35, lead into halftime.

Cleveland went into the half shooting 31.9 percent from the field, while going 0-for-12 from three.

And Boston was shooting an impressive 58.5 percent from the field, with Al Horford going 5-for-5 for 14 points and Jaylen Brown shooting 7-for-10 for a team-leading 18 points. The two of them accounted for four of the C’s five threes (5-12 3PT) in the first-half.

Finally after three minutes into the third, Kyle Korver hit the Cavs’ first three of the afternoon. And then George Hill followed up with another on their next possession to bring the team up to 2-for-17 from deep.

Cleveland out-scored Boston by 12 in the third, to cut the C’s lead to 78-64 heading into the fourth.

The Celtics responded by opening up the final frame with a 7-0 run before expanding it to an 18-4 run and a 96-68 lead with just 7:09 left in the game.

Tatum just kept having his way with the Cavs, as he’d go onto finish with 16 points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block in his first career NBA Conference Finals game.

Boston would eventually take their largest lead of the afternoon at, 101-72, with 5:19 left remaining in the fourth.

James and the Cavaliers couldn’t get anything going offensively with the Celtics dominating on the defensive end of things between the double-teams and clean switches.

And it showed as the Cavs finish the game 4-for-26 from deep, while shooting 36.5 percent from the field, as they fell to the Celtics, 108-83, in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

AUDIO: Jayson Tatum Joins Grande & Max Following Game 1 Win

The Celtics finished with their third highest shooting percentage of the playoffs with a smooth 51.2 percent from the field. And they knocked down 11-of-30 from beyond the arc.

Brown scored a team-high 23 points (9-16 FG) to go along with eight rebounds.

Horford filled the stat sheet for the C’s with 20 points, four rebounds and six assists and two blocks.

And Morris finished his start with his first career playoff double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds in place of Baynes, who finished with four points and eight boards.

Marcus Smart had nine points, three rebounds, six assists and a steal off the bench for the C’s.

The Celtics out-rebounded the Cavs, 48-40, and out-scored them in the paint, 60-38.

Love led all Cavs scorers with 17 points and eight rebounds.

And “King James,” who’s leading the NBA Playoffs with 34.3 points-per-game, was held to 15 points (5-16 FG), seven rebounds and nine assists, while committing seven turnovers.

#AdvantageCeltics: Celts – Cavs By The Numbers Heading Into East Finals

Game 2 of Celtics and Cavaliers will tip-off Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m., with the C’s now sitting 8-0 at home, while holding home-court advantage throughout the final round of Eastern Conference play.

EXTRA: Here’s some hype from Coach Stevens, who was mic’d up for Game 1.

RELATED: Celtics – Cavaliers Eastern Conference Finals Schedule

UP NEXT: The #2 Boston Celtics (55-27/1-0) will welcome the #4 Cleveland Cavaliers (50-32/0-1) once again to the TD Garden on Tuesday night for Game 2 of Eastern Conference Finals. Catch the call of the game with Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell, live on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Pre-game coverage begins at 8:00 p.m., with tip-off set for 8:30 p.m.

John Hardiman is a Digital Producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for John? Hit him up on Twitter @HardiDude or e-mail him at

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