Cleveland 114, Boston 91
When: 8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Special to Digital Sports Desk by The Sports Xchange
BOSTON — LeBron James scored 36 points and pulled down 10 rebounds as the Cleveland Cavaliers dominated Boston and pulled one game ahead of the Celtics at the top of the Eastern Conference standings with a 114-91 victory Wednesday night.
Kevin Love finished with 15 points and 16 rebounds, and Kyrie Irving added 19 points for the Cavaliers, who dominated the highly anticipated showdown for the No. 1 playoff seed in the Eastern Conference.
The blowout clinched the season series 3-1 for Cleveland, which holds the head-to-head tiebreaker if the Celtics catch the Cavs again over the final four games.
Cleveland (51-27) scored 38 in the second period and led 57-42 at halftime. The third quarter was just as one-sided as the Cavs kept up the pressure against the reeling Celtics, who were down 90-66 entering the final period.
Cleveland led in almost every category Wednesday. The Cavs outscored the Celtics inside 58-48 and pulled down 51 rebounds to Boston’s 38.
Isaiah Thomas led Boston (50-28) with 26 points.
Cleveland was coming off a 122-102 victory over Orlando on Tuesday, but showed no signs of fatigue from having to travel for the second of back-to-back games. The Cavs were in command from the second quarter on and were able to rest James and others in the banged up, short-handed lineup down the stretch.
Cleveland trailed 20-19 at the end of the first quarter, then James took over in the second.
Richard Jefferson gave the Cavs their first lead with a dunk just 13 seconds into the period and the Cavs never let up. Kyle Korver’s 3-pointer with 7:30 left in the half extended the Cavaliers’ lead to 37-24 and prompted a time out by Boston. The break didn’t slow down Cleveland.
James pulled down a rebound on a missed 3-pointer by Crowder and took it the length of the court for a dunk, which he followed with a block when Marcus Smart attempted to drive on him. James finished with 15 points in the period.
Cleveland won easily despite not having Tristan Thompson. The Cavs center didn’t travel with the club after spraining his right thumb Tuesday night in a victory over Orlando, ending his streak of consecutive games played at 447. The streak started when he was a rookie in February 2012.
NOTES: Channing Frye started at center for Cleveland with Tristan Thompson out, and he finished with 10 points and eight rebounds. … Cavs F Kyle Korver, who returned to the lineup Tuesday after missing 11 straight games with a sore left foot, played again Wednesday rather than sit out the second of Cleveland’s back-to-back set. He scored six points. … G Isaiah Thomas had 17 points in the first half and F Al Horford scored 12, but no other Boston player had more than five points in the first two quarters. … The Celtics visit Atlanta on Thursday night, and Cleveland is at home Friday against the Hawks.