The Boston Celtics are still undefeated at home in the 2018 NBA playoffs after a 107-94 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 2.
Six Celtics' players scored in double-digits as Boston now takes a 2-0 series lead to Cleveland.
LeBron James finished with a triple-double of 42 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. Kevin Love chipped in with 22 points, 15 rebounds in the loss.
This marks the first time James has been down 0-2 in an Eastern Conference series since 2008 against these same Celtics. Boston went on to win the championship that year led by Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.
Here are three takeaways from the C's big Game 2 win.
The Celtics had a different leading scorer in each of the four quarters in Game 2. Jaylen Brown had 14 of his 23 in the first period, Jayson Tatum had 9 in the second, Terry Rozier led the way with 14 in the third and Al Horford concluded matters with 8 of his 15 points in the fourth.
Without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, Boston hasn't had trouble scoring and they've been able to do it with a balance that no one saw coming.
The challenge will be now taking the scoring on the road which they haven't been able to do in the playoffs. Only Tatum averages more points on the road than he does at home. The Cavs are expected to play better in every aspect at home, Boston will need to continue to keep the same offensive explosiveness on the road as they have at TD Garden.
J.R Smith/George Hill
While LeBron James and Kevin Love played up to their standard, J.R. Smith and George Hill simply didn't show up. Smith and Hill combined for 1-for-11 from the field for just three points. Coach Ty Lue defended Smith's play saying that he plays extended minutes because he can always eventually get hot which is true, but his defence hurt the Cavs more than his missed shots.
The Celtics' starting backcourt of Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier finished with 23 and 18 points respectively. Cavs fans shouldn't worry too much about Smith and Hill as both play better at home than they do on the road.
Smith goes from a negative player on the road to a plus-4.2 at home and Hill just up to a plus-7.6.
The Achilles heel for the Cavs all season long has been their defence and in Game 2 it got exposed. Boston outscored the Cavs 69-39 in the second half after Cleveland took a seven-point lead into halftime and led by as many as 11 points at one point.
It was a layup drill in Game 2 as 50 of the Celtics' 107 points came in the paint. Only 58% of the Celtics' shots were contested in the second-half according to ESPN Stats.
In the 2nd half, the Cavaliers took only 3 open shots, compared to the Celtics 20 pic.twitter.com/XHnvs5h7dG- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 16, 2018
Against the Toronto Raptors, the Cavs were a multiple effort team defensively - in two games against the Celtics that hasn't been the case.
Boston has the ability to put five players on the floor who can all put the ball on the floor, shoot the three and create for others. The Cavs can't hide defenders on weaker offensive players because the Celtics simply don't have one. The individual defence has to be better from the Cavs, having Tristan Thompson play more might help that in Games 3 and 4.