Celtics Five Takes: Horford the heart and soul

The future is now for surprising Boston Celtics

- The Celtics were trailing 61-52 in the third quarter, but bounced back to outscore the Cavs 32-16 over the final 9:15 of the frame.

But once Boston took the lead, it never looked back.

Or LeBron James, who turned 33 in December and proceeded to suit up in all 82 regular season games for the first time in his 15-year career; he's now enduring perhaps his most statistically impressive and stunningly dominant playoff run to date.

Terry Rozier scored 18 points, Al Horford added 15 points and 10 boards, Marcus Morris had 12 points and both Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart contributed 11 for the Celtics, who were 108-83 winners Sunday in Game 1. During his three seasons watching James upon the latter's return to the franchise from Miami, Griffin was a witness to many key moments that were led by the superstar, including winning the 2016 National Basketball Association championship. Kevin Love led the Cavs with 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Will that happen again tonight?

"They're gooning the game up", Lue said of the Celtics after his team's Game 2 loss, per Brian Robb of Boston Sports Journal. Of course, he came back; but when he came back, I don't think he had the same punch that he had before he left as far as attacking the basket, playing with that force and power we talked about at shootaround. "We know that. They played well in that second half, and we've got to be ready to go on Saturday". "We do have some guys that have been through some of these long playoff series, albeit a lot less of them".


Cleveland swept the Toronto Raptors and Boston beat the Philadelphia 76ers in five games to set up a rematch of last year's East finals. They acquired Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and damaged goods in Isaiah Thomas.

"It's like a switch goes off and he just goes out there and plays", Horford said of Rozier after the game.

Boston shot 51.2 percent (43 of 84) from the field and 36.7 percent (11 of 30) from 3-point range while outrebounding the visitors 48-40. So much so that he tied his playoff career-high for points in a quarter with 21 in the first.

"I guess if you're older, you've got more experience", said Cavs' coach Tyronn Lue. They didn't need to trade him giving the fact that he still had two years left on his contract and they should have worked it out and kept him. Whatever it takes, every player, 1-15, whatever it takes, that's what we're doing. Today was a tremendous effort on one of the biggest stages we've all played on. "We see that. They're being physical". "We had some great shots we couldn't make and it snowballed from there".

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