James, Love help Cavs rout Celtics 117-104 in Game 1

Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas prepares to shoot as Cleveland Cavaliers forward Le Bron James defends during the first quarter of Game 1 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals Wednesday

Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas prepares to shoot as Cleveland Cavaliers forward Le Bron James defends during the first quarter of Game 1 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals Wednesday

"It's the mindset you have to have when you go on the road, for Game 1", James said.

Joining Harden and James on the first team were Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook, San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard and New Orleans' Anthony Davis.

"When LeBron's playing at that level other guys just have to be solid and we have a good chance to win". Westbrook, Leonard and Davis are now two-time first-teamers.

Still, the Celtics wound up grabbing the top seed and home-court advantage through the East finals, and that gave them the right to host Games 1 and 2.

James is averaging 34.8 points, 9.0 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game in these playoffs.

It was a wire to wire victory for the Cavs, who maintained a 20-point lead for much of the game, behind LeBron's 38 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.

Once the game started, there was little to get excited about for Boston. "They were more physical", said Thomas, who added 10 assists.

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Celtics coach Brad Stevens said his optimism remains high, and that he was "really encouraged" by his team's performance over the final 18 minutes of the game.

Still, James said the Cavs are mentally preparing for the Celtics' best shot in Game 2.

After the game, James said something that should have the Celtics trembling in fear. The hit us first. Some jawing continued briefly before James stepped in to pull Thompson away. "We felt like we did a good job doing that", Love said. Boston totaled 33 assists on 41 made baskets.

The Celtics couldn't get anything working when they had the ball, held to just 35 percent from the field in the first half and 2 for 16 from beyond the arc.

The win was the Cavaliers' 12th in a row in the playoffs (one shy of matching the National Basketball Association record, set by the 1988-89 Los Angeles Lakers), dating back to last year's finals, while the Celtics' five-game home playoff winning streak was stopped.

Celtics: Finished with 14 turnovers, and were outrebounded 32-27. That challenge is made even more hard when a guy like Love is playing at the level he did Wednesday night, right alongside James. They have already steamrolled their way into the Eastern Conference finals by beating the Indiana Pacers and the Toronto Raptors, and they did this without dropping a single game.

"He has to see bodies behind me", Crowder said. "So we just take what the defense gives us, and that's how we try to play".

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