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HomeSportsBasketballCavaliers rout Celtics to even second-round series

Cavaliers rout Celtics to even second-round series

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Donovan Mitchell tossed in a game-high 29 points and the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers pulled even in the Eastern Conference second round by beating the Boston Celtics 118-94 in Game 2 on Thursday night.

Mitchell had six points at halftime, but scored 16 in the third quarter and seven in the fourth. He was 10 of 19 from the field, including 5 of 7 from 3-point territory. Mitchell tossed in a game-high 33 points when Boston earned a 120-95 victory in Game 1 on Tuesday.

Cleveland led by 12 after three quarters and pushed the lead to 25 after Caris LeVert’s three-point play with 4:58 remaining. Boston coach Joe Mazzulla pulled his starters off the court at that point.

Despite being in foul trouble for much of the second half, Cleveland’s Evan Mobley had 21 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. LeVert (21), Darius Garland (14), Isaac Okoro (12) and Max Strus (12) also scored in double figures for the Cavaliers.

“Everybody did their job, starting with Evan,” Mitchell said. “The biggest thing is — I said it this morning — just trusting in the work. We haven’t made shots a lot in these playoffs, but continue to trust the work you put in.

“We’re extremely confident, even after Game 1. Understanding that we had some things we could adjust. Tonight we executed very well, but at the end of the day, it’s one win. We’ll continue to build upon it. Take care of business at home and protect home court.”

Jayson Tatum had 25 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Celtics, who shot 8 of 35 from 3-point territory. Jaylen Brown added 19 points for Boston, but he was 0 for 6 on 3-pointers.

“I’ll have to go back and watch the film, but I think when you lose a game like that, it could be a combination of tactics, a combination of effort, a combination of a little bit of all those things at times,” Mazzulla said. “Not to say it was one thing the entire time, but it was probably a combination of those.

“I definitely think there were times in the game where we went through tough stretches offensively that affected our defense.”

The series will shift to Cleveland for Game 3 on Saturday.

Cleveland center Jarrett Allen missed his fifth straight game with a rib injury. The Celtics were without center Kristaps Porzingis, who has missed the last three games because of a right calf injury.

The Celtics led by nine early, but Cleveland had a nine-point lead, 30-21, after LeVert capped an 11-0 run by making a layup with 58.3 seconds remaining in the first quarter. The Cavaliers had a 30-24 edge after 12 minutes.

Boston owned an eight-point lead late in the second quarter, but Cleveland closed the quarter on an 11-3 run to tie it at 54 at halftime.

The Cavaliers outscored the Celtics 36-24 in the third and had a 90-78 lead when Mitchell made a 3-pointer that just beat the buzzer at the end of the quarter.

“You treat (a loss) the same way you would a win,” Mazzulla said. “You come in tomorrow, you watch the film and you get better for Game 3.”

–Field Level Media

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