Sunday, May 26, 2024

NBA Playoffs: Cavaliers Steal Home Court With Stunning Game 2 Beatdown of Celtics

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The Cleveland Cavaliers silenced the raucous TD Garden crowd on Thursday night, leveling their second round playoff series against the Boston Celtics with a stunning 118-94 road victory in Game 2. After dropping the series opener at home, the Cavs roared back behind a second half takeover from Donovan Mitchell to earn a massive road win and steal home court advantage.

The early going didn’t hint at the lopsided final score, as both teams came out firing. Boston raced out to a 24-15 lead late in the first quarter behind balanced scoring and tenacious defense. But the Cavaliers closed the period on a blistering 15-0 run, taking a 30-24 advantage into the second frame.

The pivotal stretch showcased Cleveland’s deep offensive arsenal. While Mitchell struggled to find his rhythm early, going scoreless in the opening period, role players like Evan Mobley and Caris LeVert picked up the slack. Mobley poured in 11 first quarter points while LeVert provided an immediate spark off the bench with 6 points.

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After the Cavs seized control, a playoff-tested Celtics squad quickly righted the ship. Jayson Tatum heated up before halftime, tallying 16 points in the first half to lead all scorers. Veteran big man Al Horford also caught fire, burying four three-pointers as Boston regained a 54-54 tie at the break.

However, the third quarter proved to be Cleveland’s breaking point. Mitchell finally found his groove, erupting for 16 points in the frame to blow the game open. The Cavaliers outscored the Celtics 34-19 in the pivotal third as their lead ballooned to 88-73 entering the fourth.

From there, it was all Cavs as they slammed the door shut in demoralizing fashion. With their boisterous fans heading for the exits midway through the final period, Cleveland closed out their statement road victory in style, leading by as many as 29 points down the stretch.

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When the final buzzer sounded, four Cavs starters reached double figures, led by Mitchell’s game-high 29 points. The All-Star guard overcame a sluggish first half by hitting five three-pointers after the break to propel his team to victory. Mobley added 21 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists in an all-around brilliant performance.

Caris LeVert complemented Cleveland’s star duo nicely, pouring in 21 points off the bench on an efficient 8-13 shooting. Starting point guard Darius Garland managed 14 points and 6 assists, steadying the offense when Mitchell struggled early. Ohio native Max Strus (12 points) and Isaac Okoro (12 points) also reached double digits for the playoff road warriors.

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For Boston, the disappointing night started at the offensive end. Despite Tatum’s 25 point, 6 rebound effort, the Celtics shot just 40% from the floor as a team and an abysmal 22.9% from three-point range. Rising star Jaylen Brown chipped in 19 points but needed 17 shots to get there. Outside of the two Jays, the rest of the roster combined for only 50 points.

The series now shifts to Cleveland for Game 3 on Saturday in a pivotal matchup. With the road team grabbing control, the Cavs will look to ride the momentum of their Game 2 blowout. Meanwhile, Boston must regroup after an embarrassing home dud while facing their first road test of this hard-fought series. One thing is for certain – this back-and-forth battle between two of the East’s heavyweights is just getting started.



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Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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