NBA Playoffs: Celtics advance to Game 1 with win over Cavaliers behind big night from Jaylen Brown and Derrick White

Jaylen Brown laid out for the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night. Derrick White knocked them out.

In the end, the Boston Celtics had too much firepower for the Cavaliers to outmatch. The Celtics cruised to a 120-95 win in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series.

Brown finished with 32 points, while White hit seven 3-pointers en route to a 25-point performance. Donovan Mitchell responded with 33 points, but it was not enough for the Cavs to play a fourth straight game without quarterback 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 first quarter on his way to giving the Celtics a 20-point lead at halftime, 59-49.

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

The Cavaliers had no response. Mitchell scored 16 of his 33 points in the third quarter, but did nothing to slow down Boston’s potent offense. The Celtics extended their lead early in the fourth period and did not allow the Cavaliers to threaten their advantage. Cleveland conceded the white flag by withdrawing its starters as Boston led 115-89 with 3:42 remaining

Boston showcased its superiority from three-point range and pulled out a solid win despite a poor shooting night from All-NBA forward Jayson Tatum. Boasting multiple weapons that can carry the offense on any given night, Boston is one of the few teams in the NBA that can excel against a quality opponent despite one of their best players having a bad night. Tuesday’s win over Cleveland was a clear example.

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Brown finished with 32 points, six rebounds and five assists while shooting 12 of 18 from the field and 4 of 6 from 3. White had 25 points and five assists while shooting 9 of 16 from the field and 7 of 12 from long range. Tatum added 18 points while shooting 7 of 19 from the field and missed all five of his three-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. They earned the dominant win without injured forward Kristaps Porzingis, who missed his second straight game with a calf injury suffered in the first round against the Miami Heat.

The Cavaliers responded with a 41.1% effort from the floor and a 26.2% (11-of-42) shooting 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 the only Cleveland player to shoot better than 50% on 8 of 12 attempts from the field.

The second game of the series is scheduled for Saturday night in Boston.

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