Celtics survive James’ attack to take 2-0 series lead


LOS ANGELES: Jaylen Brown scored 23 points and the Boston Celtics overcame a 42-point performance from LeBron James to beat Cleveland 107-94 on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) and take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.

Terry Rozier added 18 points, while Al Horford finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics, who improved to 8-0 this postseason at the Boston Garden.

“We really lean on him,” said Brown of Horford. “He has been doing it all year. That is why they pay him the big bucks.”

The Celtics, who overcame a double digit deficit, have never blown a 2-0 series lead in the postseason. Game three is Sunday in Cleveland.

LeBron James No. 23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives to the basket against Jaylen Brown No. 7 of the Boston Celtics in the first half during Game Two of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on Wednesday in Boston, Massachusetts. AFP PHOTO

Brown said they can’t let up in game three because Cavaliers superstar James usually raises his game another notch after a loss.

“We need tremendous focus. He (James) one of best players of all time. But if there is anybody I would put my money on it would be this group,” Brown said.

The Celtics used a balanced attack as a half dozen players reached double figures. Cleveland had 15 turnovers leading to 13 Boston points and the Celtics had just six turnovers.

James also delivered 12 assists and 10 rebounds, scoring 21 of Cleveland’s 27 points in the first quarter.

His 42 points marked his fifth 40-point game of these playoffs. James had just 15 points and missed all five of his three-point attempts in a game one defeat.

“We have the…



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