The Cavs Blew Out The Celtics In Game 2 To Even Up The Series

After getting run out of the building in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series, the Cleveland Cavaliers regrouped to take Game 2 off of the Celtics in Boston. Behind the latest monster playoff effort by Donovan Mitchell, the Cavs walked into TD Garden and picked up a 118-94 win to even up the series at one game each.

Game 2 looked like it was going to follow a very similar script to Game 1, as Boston came out of the gates on fire. The Celtics opened up a 14-5 run and never really looked like they were breaking a sweat on either end of the floor.

And then, the Cavs woke up. Between Evan Mobley having one of the best quarters of his young NBA career (11 points, four assists, three rebounds, and a block) and Caris LeVert providing a perimeter scoring punch off of the bench, Cleveland was able to go on a 25-7 run that let them take a 30-24 lead into the second.

With Mobley and Mitchell on the bench, Boston was able to almost immediately erase Cleveland’s lead. An 18-7 run by the Celtics in the opening four minutes of the period where four of the team’s five players on the floor scored put them back ahead, forcing a timeout by J.B. Bickerstaff that got the two stars back on the floor.

Once again, Cleveland was able to finish a quarter strong, with Mobley and Mitchell doing much of the heavy lifting. The pair coming back on the floor helped them close the 5-point lead that Boston opened up while they were on the bench, and over the final four minutes of the period, Cleveland went on an 11-3 run that had things all tied up at 54 as the two teams entered the locker room.

Jayson Tatum led all scorers in the first half with 16, largely because of his ability to get to the charity stripe — his struggles from the field during the postseason continued, as he was only 3-for-10 in the first half, but he hit eight of his 10 free throws to go with six points and four assists. Al Horford had 11 points in the first half with three made triples, while Jaylen Brown had 10. For Cleveland, Mobley’s 15 points, seven rebounds, five assists, steal, and block stuffed the stat sheet, while LeVert had 12 off the bench. Mitchell didn’t have the scoring outbursts we’ve seen from him this postseason, but he did go for six points, five assists, and four boards.

The two teams jostled back and forth to start the third, with Cleveland starting to open up a lead that Boston was able to cut into. And then, there was yet another run by the Cavaliers to open things up — this time, it was a 10-2 run in the middle of the period that opened up a 9-point lead.

The lead got up to 14 points, and while the Celtics were able to get it down to single-digits, Mitchell closed a brilliant quarter with a stepback three as time expired, which gave him 14 points in the third alone.

Mitchell started the fourth quarter continuing his assault on Boston, as he scored seven straight points to help Cleveland extend its lead.

By the time the Cavs got their lead up to 112-87 with 4:58 remaining, Joe Mazzulla decided he’d seen enough. As the fans in Boston started to make their way to the exits, the Celtics starters got pulled and the bench came into the game. And with 3:55 left, Bickerstaff made the same decision, with both coaches watching as their reserves finished out the game.

Mitchell had his latest brilliant playoff game, going for 29 points with eight assists and seven rebounds. LeVert gave them 21 off the bench, while Mobley was fantastic with 21 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, two blocks, and a steal. Tatum led the way for Boston, as he put up 25 points with seven rebounds and six assists, while Brown had 19.

Game 3 between the Cavaliers and the Celtics will take place in Cleveland on Satuday night, with the game scheduled to tip off at 8:30 p.m. EST on ESPN.