What did matter to Thompson was how Cleveland responded to Boston's physicality overall. A jumper from James trimmed the Celtics' lead to six with 4:42 to play but the hosts scored the next eight points to pull away for the win.
The injured LeBron left the court to a chorus of cheers and boos from Celtics fans, which caught the attention of many watching the game. In Game 2, James was all but unstoppable as he replied with a 46-point, 12-rebound performance.
James, who managed just 15 points in the Game 1 loss, has won five consecutive East playoff series after losing the series opener.
He returned a few minutes later and finished out the half with what the Cavaliers said was a strained neck.
And there's no doubt that James is going to come out and try to set the tone early. In the press conference, LeBron said that he did all he could and laid everything on the line and he can "live with that". It was probably around the time the Cavs elected not to execute a deal for rim protection specialist DeAndre Jordan of the LA Clippers at the trade deadline and instead moved to add a collection of perimeter players. With the exception of Kyle Korver hitting a couple of 3s, the bench wasn't anything special, either.
Tempers flared with 3:49 to play with Boston leading 97-89.
Smart also went after J.R. Smith late in the fourth after the Cavs guard pushed Al Horford from behind on a drive to the basket. Smith shoved Morris and the pair had to be separated.More news: How major U.S. stock indexes fared Monday
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"It was a good call", Smith said.
Which brings us back to those lottery results, and that No. 8 pick the Cavs had to swallow. "You know how we do it". That, JR Smith said, is a sign James' supporting cast needs to do more. "I understand what Brad is saying and I agree with him in that sense, but I don't think naive is the right word". I don't think Jayson (Tatum) is naive, I don't think Terry (Rozier) is naive. "We can't allow that to keep happening".
He's looking to recover tonight after his 15-point, 7 turnover showing in Game 1. The Celtics turned it over just six times.
James was on the attack from the opening tip.
In the first-round series against the Indiana Pacers, the Cavs struggled offensively. But it was one of his only miscues in the first quarter.