The Cavs move back into No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference Jersey | Forum

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Deleted user Apr 5 '17, 08:57PM
The Cleveland Cavaliers dominated the Boston Celtics 114-91 on Wednesday night in a key matchup for the Eastern Conference playoff seeding. The Cavs are now one game ahead of the Celtics for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and have the tiebreaker by virtue of winning the season series between the two teams. Cleveland blew this contest wide open early in the second quarter behind LeBron James, who finished the game with a line of 36 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. The Celtics simply didn't provide enough defensive resistance in the paint in the middle two quarters, and the Cavs made them pay for it. Isaiah Thomas (26 points and six assists) led the way for the Celtics, but he didn't get much help on the offensive end. The Cavs, seemingly just to prove they can, locked Boston down defensively. The Celtics' uptempo offense failed to score 100 points for the first time in eight games; they'd scored at least 109 in six of their last seven coming into Wednesday. They hit 40.7 percent of their shots overall, including a ghastly 7-of-33 rate from three. Cavs win 114-91 to essentially build a two game lead over Boston for the No. 1 seed in the East with four games left to play. LeBron James 36p 10r 6a; Kevin Love 15p 16r; Kyrie Irving 19p 5a; Channing Frye (filling in for Tristan Thompson) 10p 8r; J.R. Smith 12p. Cleveland's D held Boston to 40.7 pct (21.2 pct from 3) LeBron James finished with 36 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists as the Cavaliers routed the Celtics in Boston. The win gives the Cavaliers a 1-game lead over the Celtics in the East with four games to play and also clinches the head-to-head tiebreaker for Cleveland over Boston. Tyronn Lue called a timeout after a sloppy Cavaliers fast break, just a second before Kevin Love cleaned up the mess with a trailing 3-pointer. Negating that shot is just about the only thing Cleveland has done wrong tonight in opening up a 25-point third-quarter lead over Boston. After pulling down 11 rebounds in the first half, Kevin Love has hit the double-figure mark in scoring, giving him his fourth consecutive double-double. Not coincidentally, the Cavs have won 3 straight coming into tonight and have opened up a big lead over the Celtics. The Cavs are up 57-42 at the half over the Celtics. LeBron James put up 15 of his 19 points in the 2nd Q. Cleveland is holding the Celtics to 37.2 pct shooting overall and 17.6 pct from 3 (3-for-17). The teams had identical records entering their final regular-season matchup, but Cleveland (51-27) now has a one-game lead over Boston (50-28) with only four games to play. Cleveland also holds the tiebreaker with the Celtics for the top seed, if needed. Kyrie Irving added 19 points and five assists. The Cavaliers played without starting center Tristan Thompson, who was out with a sprained right thumb. But they made due without him, surging at the start of the second quarter and taking as much as a 29-point lead in the third quarter. They also outrebounded Boston 51-38. The Cavaliers' much-maligned defense stepped up in a big way, holding the Celtics to 42 points on 37 percent shooting in the first half. Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford combined for 29 of those points. The rest of the Celtics scored 13 on 5-for-24 shooting. The Cavaliers opened the second quarter on a 22-4 run, all with Isaiah Thomas on the bench for the Celtics. Boston's inability to create consistent offense when Thomas isn't on the court continues to be a problem, one they'll need to resolve before the playoffs start next week. LeBron James might have downplayed the importance of this game with his words, but his play is suggesting something else entirely. He's taken over early in the second quarter, physically dominating the smaller defenders the Celtics keep throwing at him. Cleveland now holds a one-game lead and the head-to-head tiebreaker with four games remaining in the season. Each of the Cavaliers' remaining games come against teams in the playoffs or currently in the hunt. Aside from James, who finished with 36 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, there weren't any spectacular individual performances from Cleveland. James scored 36 points and Kevin Love added a double-double as the Cleveland Cavaliers blitzed the Celtics, 114-91, in Boston on Wednesday to take the driver's seat for the Eastern Conference's top seed. Kyrie Irving finished with 19 points and five assists, while Love had 15 points and 16 rebounds. Neither player shot well, with Irving going 7-of-18 from the floor and Love 5-of-15. J.R. Smith (12 points) and Channing Frye (10 points) rounded out the double-figure scorers for Cleveland. James and Smith were the only starters to make at least half of their shots. The defensive improvement was all the more surprising with the absence of Tristan Thompson, their defensive anchor who is currently being evaluated for a sprained thumb. Thompson will also miss Friday night's game against the Atlanta Hawks before being re-evaluated. Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson missed Wednesday night's 114-91 win over the Boston Celtics and will sit out Friday's game against the Atanta Hawks while undergoing continued treatment and additional evaluation for a sprained right thumb, the team announced. Thompson suffered the sprain during Tuesday night's victory over the Orlando Magic, MRI results revealed on Wednesday. Thompson hadn't missed a game since Feb. 10, 2012. His streak of 447 consecutive games played was the longest in the league and longest streak in Cavaliers history. The Celtics were led by a 26-point effort from Isaiah Thomas. Jae Crowder (13 points), Al Horford (12 points) and Kelly Olynyk (12 points) were also in double figures for Boston. After playing in six straight Finals, LeBron James says there's no such thing as a "big" regular-season game. Such trivial matters like the East's No. 1 seed could never possibly matter to the King.