Celtics

Stars, studs, duds: Jaylen Brown does his best to keep pace with LeBron James

Stars, studs, duds: Jaylen Brown does his best to keep pace with LeBron James

BOSTON – Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 107-94 Game 2 win over Cleveland.

STARS

LeBron James: For most of the game, LeBron James was all that and then some for the Cavaliers. He delivered a super-sized triple-double of 42 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. However, most of James’ scoring came in the first quarter when he scored 21 points.

Jaylen Brown: While Brown didn’t dominate the scoring the way James did, there was no denying Brown’s play had a major impact on Boston taking a 2-0 series lead. He led the Celtics with 23 points on 9-for-18 shooting to go with seven rebounds, three assists and one steal.

Kevin Love: Cleveland got a really solid game from Kevin Love offensively as he tallied a double-double of 22 points on 9-for-18 shooting to go along with a game-high 15 rebounds. However, his defensive struggles – especially when having to guard Al Horford – was once again a major problem for the Cavs. 

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STUDS

Marcus Smart: Once again, it was Marcus Smart finding a way to deliver on several levels by doing what he does well – make winning plays. He tallied a near double-double with 11 points and nine assists without a single turnover not to mention a game-high four steals.

Al Horford: The Cavaliers had no answer for Horford down the stretch. He finished with a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds which included eight points and five rebounds in the decisive fourth quarter.

Terry Rozier: Boston’s turnaround in Game 2 began in the third quarter, and it was Rozier’s scoring that led the way. Rozier scored 18 points, 14 of which came in the third quarter which is when Boston outscored Cleveland 36-22.

DUDS

J. R. Smith: Other than him and Marcus Smart getting into it after Smith fouled Al Horford with a two-hand shove to the back on a lob pass, Smith was nowhere to be found all game. He was scoreless on the night, missing all seven of his shot attempts.

George Hill: He too was a major non-factor for the Cavaliers, scoring just three points while missing three of his four field goal attempts.

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Stars, Studs and Duds in Celtics win over the Knicks

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Stars, Studs and Duds in Celtics win over the Knicks

Foul trouble.

A key player hurt.

On the road.

Boston looked like a team ripe to be beaten.

But down the stretch, Boston did what they’ve done the past couple of years -- find a way to get the job done, regardless of location or circumstances.

Saturday was one of those nights as the Celtics fought off New York’s upset hopes to come away with a 103-101 win.

Boston (2-1) led by as many as 16 points, only to see its lead wiped out by the time the third quarter rolled around. As the game wore on, it became a battle for survival, with injuries and foul trouble beginning to pile up for Boston.

Aron Baynes, who was having a strong performance (10 points, five rebounds in less than 12 minutes) in the first half, suffered a right hamstring injury in the second quarter and was unable to return. It is unclear if he’ll be available for Monday’s home game against the Orlando Magic.

Al Horford also picked up his fourth personal foul early in the third quarter and soon found himself on the bench with Boston turning to Daniel Theis and Guerschon Yabusele with the goal to get through the third quarter and bring Horford back early in the fourth.

Boston still managed to go into the fourth quarter with a 77-70 lead.

The fourth quarter was an exercise in late-game execution for Boston, something they did not do nearly as good a job with less than 24 hours earlier in Friday’s loss at Toronto.

New York had a chance to tie the game when Trey Burke was fouled by Jayson Tatum on a 3-point attempt with 1.9 seconds to play.

Burke missed the first free throw attempt but made the second. He intentionally missed the third, but the Knicks were unable to corral the loose ball as wound up in Al Horford’s hands as time expired.

Here’s a look at the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s win over the New York Knicks:

STARS

Jayson Tatum: The second-year forward delivered a first-rate performance for the Celtics, tallying his first double-double of the season after being one rebound shy of one in Boston’s first two games. Tatum led the Celtics with 24 points on 8-for-15 shooting along with a career-high 14 rebounds.

Tim Hardaway Jr.: He has been the New York Knicks’ best scorer this season, and Saturday’s matchup with the Celtics was no exception. He finished with a team-high 24 points for the Knicks.

STUDS

Marcus Morris: In the fourth quarter, Morris gave the Celtics a much-needed offensive punch with jumpers, 3’s and drives to the basket. He would finish with 16 points and six rebounds.

Enes Kanter: He’s not going to do much for you from a defensive standpoint, but Kanter’s work as a scorer and rebounder is never questioned. On Friday he had a double-double of 17 points and 15 rebounds before fouling out in the fourth quarter.

Al Horford: Only foul trouble seemed to slow down Horford on Friday night. He was trending towards a double-double in the first half only to finish with eight points and 10 rebounds.

Noah Vonleh: The Haverhill, Mass. native came off the bench to give New York a nice lift, tallying seven points and 13 rebounds in just 22 minutes of play.

Kyrie Irving: For the second time in three games, Irving had a sub-par shooting night. But to his credit, Irving made a bunch of plays in the closing minutes with none better than breaking down a trio of New York defenders for an old fashion 3-point play that gave Boston a 96-89 lead. For the game, Irving had 16 points on 5-for-16 shooting from the field along with five assists.

DUDS

Knicks free throw shooting: New York was just 17-of-27 from the line, many of those misses coming at times when New York seemingly had a chance to swing the game’s momentum in their favor.

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Highlights from Celtics' 103-101 win over Knicks

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Highlights from Celtics' 103-101 win over Knicks

FINAL SCORE: Celtics 103, Knicks 101

IN BRIEF: Jayson Tatum had 24 points and 14 rebounds, and the Boston Celtics withstood his careless foul with 1.9 seconds left to beat the New York Knicks 103-101 on Saturday night. BOX SCORE

CELTICS RECORD: 2-1 (t-2nd in Atlantic Division)

TATUM’S COLD AS ICE

MOVIN’ LIKE KYRIE

ONE, TWO . . . THREE DEFENDERS

STEAL AND A BUCKET

UP NEXT

MONDAY: vs. Orlando, 7:30 p.m. (NBC Sports Boston)

THURSDAY: at Oklahoma City, 8 p.m. (TNT)

SATURDAY: at Detroit, 7 p.m. (NBC Sports Boston)

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE