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Cavs 94-107 Celtics: Boston protect home court again to take commanding 2-0 series lead

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The Boston Celtics kept their unbeaten home run in the playoffs intact as they took a 2-0 lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers in their Eastern Conference Finals series. 

They improved to 8-0 at TD Garden with a huge second-half surge that secured them a 107-94 win to put one foot in the NBA Finals. 

For the second straight game, Jaylen Brown was the leading scorer for the Celtics as he continues to truly come of age this postseason. 

The 21-year-old posted 23 points on 9-of-18 shooting and the Cavs struggled to contain him all night. 

After a relatively quiet game one, Terry Rozier came to life in game two as he contributed 18 points.

Marcus Smart was also a huge factor off the bench as he produced some big plays on both ends of the floor. 

His intensity, energy, and hustle were crucial for Boston and he did a bit of everything with 11 points, five rebounds, nine assists and four steals. 

"I think he's as tough as they come, right? He's a true competitor," said head coach Brad Stevens, per ESPN's Chris Forsberg. "He matches his intensity with a physical toughness.

"People talk about him all the time. Sometimes they focus on things that don't matter, and the other times they focus on that he impacts winning. We are really glad he's on our team."

The Celtics did well to emerge with a victory despite another terrific playoff display by LeBron James as he bounced back from his struggles in the opening game. 

He finished with a monster triple-double of 42 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists but was unable to carry the Cavaliers to a win like he has done on many occasions already in this postseason when he's had those type of numbers.

James now trails 2-0 in a series in the east for the first time since 2008. He has only faced a 2-0 deficit six times in his career and has come back to win twice, according to ESPN Stats and Info.

Kevin Love also had an improved outing with a double-double of 22 points and 15 rebounds.

The series will now switch to Cleveland for games three and four and the Cavs will have to protect home-court in the same manner that Boston did to retain any hope of reaching the NBA Finals for a fourth straight year. 

Listen HERE to episode two of the new GiveMeSport NBA podcast, featuring New York Times senior writer Marc Stein.

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Topics:
NBA Playoffs
Brad Stevens
Jaylen Brown
Marcus Smart
Terry Rozier
Cleveland Cavaliers
Boston Celtics
Eastern Conference
LeBron James
NBA

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