LeBron James: Jayson Tatum Shoulder to Head 'Incidental', Didn't Impact His Play

Annette Crawford
May 16, 2018

Cleveland is going to go back and make adjustments and they are going to come back and play a lot harder and a lot more controlled in the next game. But Smith's foul on Horford ignited the soft-spoken center, who would score the game's next eight points to put things essentially out of reach.

It started with Lue whose questionable rotation management returned at the worst possible time.

Earlier, the Phoenix Suns landed the top pick in this year's National Basketball Association draft at the annual lottery - while two teams barged their way into the top three.

Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals was about who has the more well-balanced team and who could take a punch, which nearly became a literal issue.

Knowing how the Celtics play and how they hunt matchup advantages, this was a decision point for the Cavs coaching staff in the run up to the series. The Cavs were outscored by 24 the rest of the way after the collision, losing 107-94 and falling down 2-0 in the series. The only problem was that Boston wasn't giving way, and the Cavaliers took just a 55-48 lead into the half. He scorched the net to a tune of 21 points and four made 3's, including an expiring-shotclock turnaround fadeaway 3 with Marcus Smart draped all over him.

Jeff Green committed five turnovers in his 28 minutes on the floor for Cleveland, finishing at minus-17 for the game.

The physicality matched the decibel level in TD Garden, with high-pitched screams befitting the importance of the game.

Some of Boston's key contributors like Jayson Tatum, Terry Rozier III, Marcus Morris and Marcus Smart, were all held without a point in the first.


Post-game, Smart said Smith's foul was "a dirty shot".

That was just a slice of the game's brutality. 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.

James was shouldered by Jayson Tatum with just over two minutes left in the second period. But they're still 10th out of 16 teams to this point, and the only member of the final four group in the conference finals outside of the top four in playoff defense.

Kevin Love added 22 points for the Cavs, only one behind Celtics' leader Jayden Brown who scored 23 and added seven rebounds and three assists. "I'm not going to lose sleep over it", James said postgame.

Tyronn Lue made the adjustment of going big and inserted Tristan Thompson into Cleveland's starting lineup for Kyle Korver.

James Harden and Chris Paul combined for 64 points in Game 1 but it wasn't enough, as the Warriors came away with a 119-106 win.

The Cavs gave up 36 points on 14-of-25 (56 percent) from the field and 5-of-10 (50 percent) from 3-point range. Lue wisely avoiding putting Korver on Brown, pulling Korver quickly when Brown subbed in.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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