Morris backed it up.
Starting for the first time in the playoffs for the Celtics, Morris – with help from his teammates – held James to 15 points on 5-for-16 shooting, limiting James to fewer than 22 points for the first time in this season’s playoffs. James also had seven of his team’s nine turnovers.
Morris, who also had 21 points and 10 rebounds for his first career playoff double-double, was a significant reason why the Celtics defeated the Cavaliers 108-83 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.
“It's a team effort, man,” Morris said. “It's not just me. Everybody played their part in guarding him. He's obviously the best player in the game, and you need multiple guys and a team to guard him an entire game. I just think we did a great job of that.”
BOSTON (AP) — LeBron James has made Boston's TD Garden his personal playground during the playoffs in recent years.
The Cleveland Cavaliers entered the Eastern Conference finals with a 9-3 record against the Celtics in games played at the Garden over the last four years, including six straight wins.
James' 979 postseason points against Boston were the most by any player against any opponent in the last 50 years. And his 21 playoff wins against the Celtics were also the most against them during that span.
But none of that mattered Sunday in Boston's dominating 108-83 win over Cleveland in Game 1 , in which James committed seven turnovers while being held to just 15 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.
It would be solid night for most NBA players, but was pedestrian by the super-human standard that LeBron has set for himself this postseason, at times single-handedly carrying the Cavs to victories.
But he was clear that his concern level down being 1-0 was "zero."
"I didn't go to college, so it's not March Madness," he said. "You see ways you can get better throughout the series. But I've been down 0-1, I've been down 0-2. I've been down before in the postseason.
"But for me, there's no level of concern no matter how bad I played tonight with seven turnovers, how inefficient I was shooting the ball. ... We have another opportunity to be better as a ballclub come Tuesday night and we'll see what happens."
James said the Celtics deserved credit for the defensive strategy they employed against him, which started with Marcus Morris challenging him from outset, limiting him to 2-of-6 shooting in the first quarter as Cleveland fell into a 36-18 h***.
"I think they had a great game plan in Game 1, and he was the start of it," James said. "He was my matchup and I think they did a great job of communicating throughout the whole game, knowing where I was and all of my teammates was. (Celtics coach) Brad (Stevens) did a great job." Read More Here
LeBron James recalled in near-perfect detail the first few minutes of the fourth quarter, when the Celtics put the Cavaliers away for good in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. USA TODAY Sports
LeBron James is a basketball savant, and he made that clear once again during his postgame news conference Sunday night.
James' Cleveland Cavaliers were just embarrassedin Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics, and he struggled mightily in the loss, finishing with 15 points, seven turnovers and a game-worst plus-minus of minus-32.
But James still found a way to flaunt his stunning recall ability.
When asked what went wrong during a crucial stretch at the start of the fourth quarter, when the Celtics went on a run that put the game out of reach, James recalled the first few possessions in near-perfect detail.
"What happened? The first possession, we ran them down all the way to two on the shot clock, Marcus Morris missed the jump shot, followed it up, they got a dunk," he said. "We came back down, we ran a set for Jordan Crawford, I mean Jordan Clarkson, and he came off and missed it. They rebounded it.
"We came back on the defensive end and we got a stop. They took it out on the sideline. Jayson Tatum took the ball out, threw it to Marcus Smart in the short corner, he made a three. We come back down, miss another shot, and then Tatum came down, went 94 feet, did a Eurostep and made a right-hand layup. Timeout." Read More Here