LeBron James dropped a 42-12-10 triple-double on the Celtics, but Boston refused to back down at TD Garden on Tuesday night, taking Game 2 by a final score of 107-94 and grabbing a commanding 2-0 series lead.
The Celtics once again got a balanced offensive effort with all five starters scoring at least 11 points. Jaylen Brown led the way with 23 points, but Al Horford was the closer down the stretch, finishing with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
James and Kevin Love combined for 54 points, but the rest of the Cavs offered only 40 points on 12-of-33 shooting. JR Smith in particular struggled mightily, going 0-of-7 from the field and 0-of-4 from 3-point range. Cleveland needs to rediscover its identity before Game 3, or this series could end quickly.
Check out any of the highlights you missed from Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals...
Game 2 box score | Play-by-play
Final: Celtics 107, Cavs 94
11:00 p.m. ET - Despite a dominant start by LeBron James, the Celtics stay the course and completely shut down the Cavs in the second half. Cleveland finds itself in a 2-0 hole heading back home. An impressive victory for Boston.
10:54 p.m. ET - JR Smith is called for a flagrant-1 foul for shoving Al Horford in the back as he jumped toward the basket. Certainly a dangerous play by Smith. In addition to that foul, Smith and Marcus Smart got hit with double technical fouls following a heated exchange in the paint.
10:47 p.m. ET - The Celtics are relentless, but LeBron James isn't giving up. He's got 40 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds - you know, normal LeBron stuff.
Celtics 95, Cavs 89 with 4:41 on the clock.
35 points.- Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) May 16, 2018
10 dimes. @KingJames is on triple-double watch. #WhateverItTakes pic.twitter.com/9Fqy4UK1pc
10:35 p.m. ET - LeBron James just scored the first Cavs points in over four minutes. It's been a struggle for Cleveland in the second half. It's an eight-point deficit with under 10 minutes to go.
End of third quarter: Celtics 84, Cavs 77
10:24 p.m. ET - The Cavs' defense was a mess in the third period, and the Celtics took advantage by winning the quarter, 36-22. Terry Rozier has come alive in the second half and is now up to 16 points. LeBron James and Kevin Love have combined for 52 points so far, but Cleveland will need its role players to hit a few shots to regain the lead.
10:12 p.m. ET - The TD Garden crowd is on its feet. Terry Rozier takes off for a huge one-handed slame on the fast break to push the Celtics ahead by three. Tyronn Lue is forced to call a timeout to stop the run.
🔨 SCARY TERRY 🔨 pic.twitter.com/0Wtfbq4Ksl- Boston Celtics (@celtics) May 16, 2018
10:07 p.m. ET - The game is now tied at 66. The Celtics are picking up the pace, and the Cavs' transition defense is... not great at the moment. This could be a turning point.
Jaylen Brown gets to his left hand!- NBA (@NBA) May 16, 2018
20 PTS on 8-12 FG for Jaylen. #CUsRise @ESPNNBA pic.twitter.com/qvIvjtJy5e
9:58 p.m. ET - Jayson Tatum... too smooth from midrange.
Jayson Tatum mid-range J to get the 2nd half underway! #CUsRise x #WhateverItTakes- NBA (@NBA) May 16, 2018
📺: @ESPNNBA pic.twitter.com/ouAwh3fWkd
Halftime: Cavs 55, Celtics 48
9:37 p.m. ET - The Cavs look like a completely different team in Game 2. LeBron James is leading the way with 25 points, five assists and four rebounds. Cleveland's defensive effort is also much improved, but the hard part will be sustaining it.
Jaylen Brown is shooting well again with 16 points (6-of-10 from the field), but the Celtics could use another consistent source of offense. A seven-point deficit is nothing for this Boston team, so it should be an exciting second half.
LeBron James leads the way in Game 2 with 25 PTS, 6 AST, 4 REB at the break! #WhateverItTakes 55 | #CUsRise 48- NBA (@NBA) May 16, 2018
Kyle Korver: 11 PTS, 4-5 FGM
Kevin Love: 9 PTS, 6 REB
Jaylen Brown: 16 PTS, 3 3PM
Jayson Tatum: 9 PTS #NBAPlayoffs ➡️ @ESPNNBA pic.twitter.com/t6oTNd3YJi
9:30 p.m. ET - LeBron James leaves the game with under four minutes remaining in the first half and heads directly to the locker room. It looked like James took an unintentional shot to the face from Jayson Tatum on a baseline drive.
#Cavs say LeBron James does have neck strain from that hit that sent him to the locker room.- Allie Clifton (@FSOAllieOop) May 16, 2018
9:20 p.m. ET - Jayson Tatum is finding his groove. The youngster scores nine straight points for the Celtics with a wide array of moves. Did we mention he's only 20 years old?
Jayson Tatum shakes and steps through for 2! #CUsRise #NBARooks- NBA (@NBA) May 16, 2018
📺: @ESPNNBA pic.twitter.com/0nP6AHtORs
9:14 p.m. ET - Kyle Korver already has six points off the bench afters scoring only five in Game 1. The Cavs could really use his shooting to help spread the floor and create driving lanes.
Kyle Korver takes the hit and it falls! #WhateverItTakes- NBA (@NBA) May 16, 2018
📺: @ESPNNBA pic.twitter.com/NGrPj5qPIa
End of first quarter: Cavs 27, Celtics 23
9:06 p.m. ET - LeBron James scores 21 of Cleveland's first 27 points to give the Cavs an early lead. He's 8-of-13 from the field and 4-of-7 from 3-point range. Still, the Celtics have to feel good about only being down four despite James' explosion. Jaylen Brown is also hot with 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting.
🔥 21 POINTS IN THE 1Q 🔥- Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) May 16, 2018
. @KingJames has became the only player in @NBA history to ever score 1,000 points against one team in the postseason. (Elias) #StriveForGreatness pic.twitter.com/hm3WYBN3hb
9:01 p.m. ET - OK, this is just getting silly. How did you do this, LeBron?
LeBron James is on FIRE! 🔥👀- NBA (@NBA) May 16, 2018
19 PTS on 7-9 shooting (4 3PM) for the King! @cavs up 25-20 in the 1st on @ESPNNBA #WhateverItTakes pic.twitter.com/252QF6RABm
8:55 p.m. ET - LeBron James is a man on a mission. He's got 16 points in the first seven minutes of the first quarter. He's hitting from everywhere.
LeBron James connects from deep and has 8 early! #WhateverItTakes 12 | #CUsRise 10- NBA (@NBA) May 16, 2018
📺: @ESPNNBA pic.twitter.com/uo4UeFg7Sr
8:48 p.m. ET - A lot of energy to start the game. Jaylen Brown is picking up right where he left off.
Jaylen Brown trey to start Game 2! #CUsRise x #WhateverItTakes- NBA (@NBA) May 16, 2018
📺: @ESPNNBA pic.twitter.com/Rq6tedAy3Y
8:40 p.m. ET - The rookie is ready to roll. What should we expect from Jayson Tatum in Game 2?
It's raining in Boston ☔️👌☔️ pic.twitter.com/7V0yfTGGwx- Boston Celtics (@celtics) May 15, 2018
8:21 p.m. ET - LeBron James and Terry Rozier, basketball experts.
#WhateverItTakes x #CUsRise pic.twitter.com/gHsVjWQt5J- NBA (@NBA) May 16, 2018