The Boston Celtics have earned some impressive series wins without their stars this postseason, but their most stellar performance came on Sunday afternoon. The Celtics shut down LeBron James, holding him to 15 points and seven turnovers in a 108-83 blowout of the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Jaylen Brown had 23 points and eight rebounds, while Marcus Morris had 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Celtics, as Morris also led the charge on the defensive end to shut down "King James." Boston never trailed in this one, using a 25-2 run in the first half to pull away, and never looked back the entire game. They held an 18-point lead after just one quarter, which was built to as large as 28 points at the TD Garden. James was pulled for good by head coach Tyronn Lue with 7:09 to play, but claimed that he was not worried about his team's chances this series, despite this poor effort. Kevin Love had 17 points and eight rebounds, while James added nine assists, but the Cavs missed their first 14 three-point attempts, and finished at 32 percent shooting in the first half. The Celtics are playing without stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, which they have been for a while and will be for the remainder of the season. They are still looking to avenge last season's Eastern Conference Finals loss to the Cavaliers and will host Game 2 of the series on Tuesday night.
Capitals Go Up 2-0 on The Road
The Washington Capitals are starting to make people believe that this could be their season, as their success on the road continues to be evident in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They took care of business on the road for a second straight game at Amalie Arena, going up 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals with a 6-2 rout of the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Capitals used four unanswered goals to break a 2-2 tied, including two in the final minute of the second period. Evgeny Kuznetsov and Lars Eller each had a goal and two assists, while Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson added a goal and an assist apiece to give the Capitals all of the momentum. Since the 1974-1975 season, teams that go up 2-0 in the Conference Finals have a stellar 39-2 record. The Caps wasted no time in their runs in this one, scoring in the opening minute of the game after cruising to a 4-2 win in Game 1 on Friday night. Devante Smith-Pelly and Brett Connolly also scored, as the Capitals now sit at 7-1 on the road this postseason. They will now move on to host their first Conference Finals game in Ovechkin's 13-year career, as they sit at 3-3 at Capital One Arena in this year's playoffs. Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos both scored on the power play for the Lightning, who are down 2-0 after cruising to series wins over the New Jersey Devils and Boston Bruins. They will have to get the job done on the road in Game 3 on Tuesday night.
Reynolds Haunts Former Team, Nats Sweep D-backs
Mark Reynolds seems to be that player every season that struggles to find a home, but once he does, he instantly becomes one of that club's top performers. He wasted no time in his debut for the Washington Nationals on Sunday night, homering twice against his former team in a 6-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, giving the Nats a four-game series sweep. Heading in to this series, the D-backs had not lost a series this season, but an old teammate sent them to their first five-game losing streak of the season. After the Diamondbacks rallied in the seventh with three runs to tie the game, Reynolds' second home run, of the two-run variety, put his team quickly back ahead. Bryce Harper also went deep with a 449-foot home run in the third inning. The Nats hit four home runs on the day, including Trea Turner's blast in the fifth, which was followed by Reynolds' first shot in the sixth inning. The recent addition to the Nats went deep off of Zack Godley, and the Archie Bradley, who suffered his first loss for Arizona. The 34-year-old Reynolds was called up when Ryan Zimmerman went on the disabled list, as he is now with his eighth team in 13 seasons. The former Diamondback has now hit 64 of his 283 career home runs at Chase Field, as he also did so as a visitor with the Colorado Rockies. He is coming off a 30-home run, 97-RBI season last year with the Rockies. His newest team, the Nationals, will return home to host the New York Yankees for a three-game series beginning on Tuesday night. The Diamondbacks will stay home for another tough series against the Milwaukee Brewers, which begins on Monday.