Cavs tie NBA record with 13th straight replay playoff win in victory over Celtics.
BOSTON — An NBA playoff-record, 41-point halftime lead. A franchise record for total points. A 13th consecutive playoff win, tying another league record.
And LeBron James says the Cleveland Cavaliers can still do better.
“I believe we’ve got another level, as well,” he said after Cleveland steamrolled the Boston Celtics with 130-86 on Friday night to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals. “As well as we played tonight, we’ve got a couple of things we can do better. There’s no complacency for us now. But we like where we’re headed.”
Minutes after the NBA announced the three finalists for the MVP award — and James wasn’t among them — the Cavaliers star scored 30 points before resting in the fourth quarter. Kevin Love had 21 points and 12 rebounds for Cleveland, which led by 14 points after one-quarter, by 72-31 at the half and by 46 after three.
Even with all of the starters sitting out the fourth, the 130 points was the most ever scored by the Cavaliers in a playoff game.
Kyrie Irving had 23 points for the Cavaliers, who return home with a chance to finish off the Celtics in Cleveland. It would be the third straight sweep this postseason for the defending NBA champions, who also won the last three games of last year’s finals.
Cavaliers: James is first player with at least 30 points in eight straight playoff games since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1970. … James played just 33 minutes — a low for this postseason and just the second time he played fewer than 40 in the 2017 playoffs.
Celtics: Stevens started Gerald Green in place of Amir Johnson. Green made his first two shots — both 3-pointers — but finished with six points. … The Celtics missed their first six shots. … There was a large contingent of New England Patriots sitting courtside, including tight end Rob Gronkowski, backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and owner Robert Kraft.