NBA Playoffs: Cavaliers stun Celtics with dominant 118-94 win in Game 2 in Boston

The Cleveland Cavaliers finally won their first road game in the NBA playoffs, stunning the Boston Celtics and TD Garden fans on Thursday with a 118-94 win in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference second-round series. The series is tied 1-1 in Game 3 on Saturday in Cleveland.

Early on, it looked like the Cavaliers might win a playoff game without Donovan Mitchell scoring the majority of his points. After averaging 39 points in Cleveland’s last three playoff games, Mitchell had just six points in the first half. But he took over in the second half, scoring 16 in the third quarter and 29 in the game.

Cleveland dominated the second half, outscoring the Celtics 64-40. With nearly five minutes remaining in the game, Boston coach Joe Mazzola conceded a goal and put most of his seats in the stadium as the home fans headed for the exits.

The Cavaliers fell behind by nine points in the first quarter, but stormed back with an 11-0 run fueled by Evan Mobley’s 11 points and Caris LeVert’s six assists off the bench. Cleveland led 30-24 at the end of the quarter, much to the relief of Boston fans.

Boston came back in the second quarter as Mobley and LeVert calmed down and Mitchell and Darius Garland didn’t look for their shots. Jayson Tatum led all scorers in the first half with 16 points, six rebounds and four assists, although he shot 3-for-10 from the field. Al Horford’s 11 points (along with 4-for-5 shooting on 3-pointers) helped spark a run that led the Celtics to a 19-3 lead and tied the half at 54.

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Mobley’s scoring was slowed by a foul foul, but he finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. LeVert provided a boost while Mitchell and Garland tried to warm up and added 21 points and six rebounds. Garland added 14 points, and Isaac Okoro and Max Strus each scored 12 points.

Tatum scored 25 points in total for the Celtics, but shot 7-for-17 from the field. No one else in Boston’s lineup shot much better. Derrick White managed to score 10 points on 3-for-11 shooting (including 1-for-8 from 3). Jaylen Brown went 7 of 17 for 19 points.

Outside shooting has been an issue for the Cavaliers during the playoffs, but they made a breakthrough in 3-point shooting in Game 3. Cleveland shot 46 percent (13-for-28) from behind the arc, led by Mitchell’s 5-for-7 shooting. Performance with Garland going 4-for-5. The Struss added two more points from 3-point range, with Mobley and Okoro each scoring one point.

Meanwhile, the Celtics struggled shooting. Boston made 22.9 percent on its 3-point attempts, going 8 for 35. Along with White’s 1-for-8 night, Brown went 0-for-6 and Jrue Holiday shot 0-for-2 as he continued his postseason struggles.

Jarrett Allen missed his fifth straight playoff game with the Cavaliers with a right rib contusion, while Kristaps Porzinis has missed the Celtics’ past two games with a calf injury.

Game 3 of the Celtics-Cavaliers series is scheduled for Saturday in Cleveland. Tipoff is at 8:30 PM ET with telecast on ABC.

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