NBA: LeBron James spree lends hand to Celtics' shambles

The Cavs' LeBron James drives to the basket under the challenge of the Celtics' Jaylen Brown. The Cleveland forward led all scorers with 30 points on the night, equalling Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's mark of scoring 30 or more in eight straight play-off gam
The Cavs' LeBron James drives to the basket under the challenge of the Celtics' Jaylen Brown. The Cleveland forward led all scorers with 30 points on the night, equalling Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's mark of scoring 30 or more in eight straight play-off games.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

BOSTON • LeBron James continued his dynamic play-off run as defending champions Cleveland Cavaliers exploded for a 130-86 blowout of the Boston Celtics for a 2-0 lead in the National Basketball Association (NBA) Eastern Conference Finals.

Hours after he was snubbed as a nominee for the league's Most Valuable Player award, James scored 30 points on Friday night as the Cavaliers led 72-31 at the break - the largest half-time advantage in NBA post-season history.

It was also the biggest play-off win ever for the defending champions, who now have the luxury of hosting Games Three and Four.

"I am a guy that lives in the moment. Our team is in a great groove right now," James said.

"We want to try to get better. I believe we have another level as well. We can continue to get better. No complacency with us right now."

The Celtics lost for the second game in a row at the TD Garden, marking the worst home play-off loss in franchise history, falling three points shy of matching their worst post-season defeat.

James has scored at least 30 in eight straight games as he looks to visit the NBA Finals for the seventh straight season.

It was the Cavaliers' 13th straight play-off win, dating back to the last three games of the Finals last year to equal an NBA record.

Rookie Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 19 points. "We got our (butts) kicked. Point blank, period," he said. "They swept us off the floor."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 21, 2017, with the headline 'James spree lends hand to Celtics' shambles'. Print Edition | Subscribe