NBA Playoffs: Celtics cruise to Game 1 win over Cavaliers behind big night from Jaylen Brown, Derrick White

Jaylen Brown set up the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night. Derrick White took them down.

In the end, the Boston Celtics simply had too much firepower for an overmatched Cavaliers team. The Celtics won Game 1 of their second round playoff series 120-95.

Brown finished with 32 points, while White hit seven 3-pointers en route to a 25-point performance. Donovan Mitchell countered with 33 points, but it wasn’t enough for Cleveland to play its fourth straight game without starting center Jarrett Allen.

Led by Brown, the Celtics jumped out of the gates with a 40-34 lead after a first quarter in which they didn’t turn the ball over. Brown scored 15 points in the opening quarter and a 20-point first half to give the Celtics a 59-49 lead.

The third quarter belonged to White, who scored 14 points in a string while connecting on four 3-pointers. His seventh 3-pointer of the game extended Boston’s lead to 87-72. Boston led 92-77 heading into the fourth.

The guards had no answer. Mitchell scored 16 of his 33 points in the third quarter, but that did nothing to slow the onslaught of the efficient Boston offense. The Celtics extended their lead early in the fourth and didn’t allow the Cavaliers to threaten their advantage. Cleveland pulled its starters and waved off the white flag as Boston led 115-89 with 3:42 left.

Despite a poor shooting night from All-NBA forward Jayson Tatum, Boston capitalized on its advantage from 3-point range and earned a blowout win. Boston has multiple weapons that can carry the offense on any given night and is one of the few teams in the NBA that can thrive against a quality opponent even on the best player’s off night. Tuesday’s win over Cleveland is a prime example.

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Brown finished with 32 points, six rebounds and five assists, shooting 12 of 18 from the field and 4 of 6 from 3. White had 25 points and five assists on 9 of 16 shooting from the field and 7 of 12 from long range. Tatum added 18 points while shooting 7 of 19 from the field and missing five of his 3-point attempts.

As a team, the Celtics shot 48.9% from the field and 39.1% (18 of 46) from 3-point range. They scored 125 points on 92 field-goal attempts. Forward Kristaps Porzingis, who missed his second straight game with an injury suffered in Round 1 against the Miami Heat, was injury-free in a dominant win.

The Cavs countered with an efficiency of 41.1% from the floor and 26.2% (11 of 42) from long range. They needed 90 field-goal attempts to score 95 points. Mitchell had 33 points, six rebounds and five assists while shooting 12 of 25 from the field and 4 of 11 from 3-point range. Evan Mobley added 17 points and 13 rebounds as Cleveland’s starter, shooting better than 50% on 8-for-12 from the field.

Game 2 of the series is scheduled for Saturday night in Boston.

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