Boston Celtics v Cleveland Cavaliers

Celtics dominate Cavs in Game 1, take early lead in East finals

cavs-celtics-recap-051318.jpg
Cavs vs. Celtics in Eastern Conference finals (NBA.com Illustration)

The Celtics left no doubt on Sunday afternoon at TD Garden. They aren't just another opponent for the Cavs to walk past on the way to the NBA Finals.

Boston came out firing in Game 1, securing a 61-35 halftime lead and ultimately winning 108-83. Jaylen Brown (23 points, eight rebounds), Marcus Morris (21 points, 10 rebounds) and Al Horford (20 points, six assists) all played major roles in the victory, and the Celtics shot over 50 percent from the field as a team.

The Cavs had an abysmal shooting night, finishing 4-of-26 from 3-point range. LeBron James was limited to 15 points (5-of-16 from the field), and he turned the ball over seven times. Cleveland will need a better all-around effort in Game 2 if it wants to avoid a 2-0 hole.

You can check out the stats and best highlights from Game 1 below...

Game 1 box score | Play-by-play

Final: Celtics 108, Cavs 83

5:44 p.m. ET - The benches have emptied. This one is over. Only waiting for the final buzzer now.

5:33 p.m. ET - An 18-4 run by Boston has turned TD Garden into party central. Celtics 96, Cavs 68 with 7:09 remaining. Not pretty.

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5:24 p.m. ET - So, about that deficit... The Celtics sprint out to a 7-0 run to start the fourth quarter, and they're back up 21 points. That was fast.

End of third quarter: Celtics 78, Cavs 64

5:20 p.m. ET - The Cavs cut the deficit in half with a 29-point third quarter, nearly matching heir first half output. The Celtics settled for a few jumpers in the third, allowing Cleveland to at least keep Boston within reach. It's been a rough shooting game for LeBron James, but he has been attacking the basket harder in the second half.

5:06 p.m. ET - Al Horford is doing serious work: 18 points, six assists, four rebounds and two blocks midway through the third quarter. The Celtics are still up 20.

4:58 p.m. ET - The Cavs are now 0-of-14 on 3-pointers after shooting over 40 percent over the course of the entire series against the Raptors. Some of those shots have ben open, but this Boston defense is flying around the floor.

Halftime: Celtics 61, Cavs 35

4:40 p.m. ET - Wow. The first half was simply a blowout. The Celtics shot over 60 percent from the field, while the Cavs hit 31.9 percent of their attempts, including 0-of-12 from beyond the arc. Jaylen Brown leads all scorers with 18 points, and Al Horford has 14 points on 5-of-5 shooting. LeBron James has seven points and seven assists, but Boston can live with that if Cleveland's shooters are missing.

4:29 p.m. ET - The Celtics' starters are outscoring the Cavs' first unit 43-11. That's... a big difference.

4:19 p.m. ET - Rodney Hood is showing some aggression, which is a welcome sight for Cavs fans. He's got five points in his first five minutes.

End of first quarter: Celtics 36, Cavs 18

4:10 p.m. ET - What an opening frame from the Celtics. They just dominated the Cavs in the first 12 minutes, holding Cleveland to 33.3 percent shooting and hitting on 61.9 percent of their own shots. The Cavs have a lot of work to do if they want to keep this from getting out of hand.

4:00 p.m. ET - The Celtics use a 17-2 run to build a huge advantage in the first quarter. The Cavs are down 16 and can't seem to find the bottom of the net (3-of-13 from the field, 0-of-5 from 3-point range). Al Horford, on the other hand, is doing just fine.

3:53 p.m. ET - At the first timeout break, the Celtics lead by four points. They are finding good opportunities offensively, and they aren't waiting if there is an opening.

3:44 p.m. ET - And here we go. Your early matchups: George Hill-Terry Rozier, Kyle Korver-Jaylen Brown, JR Smith-Jayson Tatum, LeBron James-Marcus Morris and Kevin Love-Al Horford.

3:34 p.m. ET - LeBron James has score nearly 1,000 playoff points against the Celtics. Is that good?

3:23 p.m. ET - Starting lineup change! The Celtics will go with Marcus Morris over Aron Baynes. Not much of a surprise with Morris likely to match up with LeBron James.

3:05 p.m. ET - Jayson Tatum hasn't looked much like a rookie so far in these playoffs. Let's see how he handles his first conference finals series.

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