NBA Playoffs: Cavaliers Sweep Celtics, Advance to Second Round

LeBron James

There might be some drama in Cleveland after the Cavaliers completed a sweep of the Boston Celtics on Sunday afternoon.

J.R. Smith was ejected from the game after a dirty play against Celtics forward Jae Crowder. In addition to this, big man Kendrick Perkins received a flagrant foul after throwing jabs Crowder’s way earlier in the game. Both could be facing suspensions.

This doesn’t even take into account the dislocated shoulder that power forward Kevin Love suffered in the first half.

Despite all the drama, Cleveland was able to hold off a second-half rally by the upstart Celtics to complete a four-game sweep and give the team much-needed rest heading into the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Showing why he remains the best basketball player in the galaxy, LeBron James put up 27 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in a near triple-double. This brought his series averaged to 27.0/9.0/6.5, numbers that represent the elite talent that he is. Kyrie Irving added 24 points and 11 rebounds in the 101-93 victory.

For Brad Stevens and the young Celtics, this series acted as a learning process more than anything else. Remaining somewhat competitive throughout, Boston gained much needed experience in the second season. No one expected the seventh-seeded Celtics to pull of a series upset. However, their youngsters showed their stuff on the big stage.

Cleveland will now take on either the Chicago Bulls or Milwaukee Bucks in the next round. Chicago leads that series 3-1, but the Bucks were able to extend it with a last minute win on Saturday evening. If nothing else, the Cavaliers are hoping Milwaukee wins a couple more to further extend the series.

Either way, there’s a good chance Cleveland will be without both J.R. Smith and Kevin Love for at least the first game of the next round. That’s a less-than-ideal scenario for James and company.

Photo: USA Today Sports