Cava­liers’ Big 3 set the tone in win over Celtics

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - As­so­ci­ated press

More than hour af­ter his first play­off game with LeBron James and Kevin Love, Kyrie Irv­ing made a state­ment more pro­found than any­thing he did on the floor.

“We,” Irv­ing said, “are the Big Three. We have re­ally great play­ers on this team, but we set the tone.” Tone set. Irv­ing scored 30 points in his play­off de­but, James added 20 in his first post­sea­son game with Cleve­land in five years, and Love shook off a slow start to record a dou­ble-dou­ble, lead­ing the Cava­liers to a 113-100 home­court victory in Game 1 over the Bos­ton Celtics on Sun­day.

Irv­ing made five three­p­oint­ers and Love, an­other post­sea­son rookie, added 19 points — 13 in the sec­ond half — and 12 re­bounds

“They were phe­nom­e­nal,” James said. “Those two guys, they suc­ceeded for the first time be­ing in the post­sea­son.”

It was Cleve­land’s first home play­off game since May 11, 2010, when the Celtics won Game 5 and James left the floor to some boos from Cava­liers fans. He left for Miami two months later, but he’s back, and Cleve­land is aim­ing to end a cham­pi­onship drought dat­ing to 1964.

Isa­iah Thomas scored 22 points to lead the sev­enth­seeded Celtics. “We’re still con­fi­dent,” he said. “Guys are ready for Game 2. ... There are pos­si­bly seven games in this se­ries, and it could go ei­ther way.”

Bos­ton climbed within 10 in the fi­nal 12 min­utes, but Love made a cru­cial three­p­ointer with 3:32 left.

at At­lanta 99, Brook­lyn 92: Kyle Korver scored 21 points, in­clud­ing five three­p­oint­ers, and the top-seeded Hawks held off the pesky Nets in Game 1 of an Eastern Con­fer­ence se­ries. The Hawks led nearly the en­tire game and pushed the mar­gin as high as 16 points, but the Nets kept com­ing back.

Brook­lyn fin­ished 22 games be­hind the Hawks and slipped into the play­offs on the fi­nal day. But, with Joe John­son and Brook Lopez each scor­ing 17 points, they didn’t look over­matched by At­lanta.

at Mem­phis, 100, Port­land, 86: Re­serve Beno Udrih scored 20 points, and the Grizzlies never trailed in rout­ing the Trail Blaz­ers in Game 1 of the West­ern Con­fer­ence first-round se­ries.

Zach Ran­dolph had 16 points and 11 re­bounds, and Marc Ga­sol added 15 points and 11 re­bounds. Mike Con­ley fin­ished with 16 points and didn’t play the fourth quar­ter.

LaMar­cus Aldridge led Port­land with 32 points while tak­ing more shots than any­one had ever taken against Mem­phis in the post­sea­son, go­ing 13 of 34. Ni­co­las Ba­tum added 15 points.

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