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2-0 target ng Cavs

NEW YORK – Namumuro si Le-Bron James at ang Cleveland Cavaliers sa kanilang ikalawang sunod na 10-0 start sa NBA playoffs sa pagharap sa Boston Celtics  nitong Biyernes (ngayong umaga sa Manila).

Tinalo ng defending NBA champions ang Celtics, 117-104 noong Miyerkules sa pagsisimula ng kanilang best-of-seven Eastern Conference Final series.

“We did a good job of coming out, throwing the first punch,” sabi ni Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue.

Na-sweep ng Cleveland ang Indiana at Toronto sa opening rounds at maaari nilang pantayan ang 10-0 playoff start noong nakaraang taon na kulang ng isang panalo para sa best record sa playoffs sa NBA history.

“I have to be in attack mode and just put the pressure on the defense and see what happens,” sabi ni James. “The energy and effort and mindset was where it needed to be starting on the road, especially in the Eastern Conference Finals.”

Nagtala si James ng 38 points, humatak ng nine rebounds at may seven assists laban sa Celtics sa Game One sa kanyang ikalimang sunod na laro nakaiskor ng 35 puntos o higit pa at pang-pitong sunod na laro sa pag-iskor ng 30 o higit pa sa pag-angat pa ng kanyang laro para makalapit sa pangpitong sunod na NBA Finals.

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“He’s playing at a high level right now and that’s the reason why we’re riding him so much,” sabi ni Lue. “He’s really setting the tone for us in these playoffs. We’re just kind of ri-ding it. When LeBron is playing at this level, other guys just have to be solid and I think we’ve got a good chance of winning the game. Let’s see if we can just keep this up.”

Maaaring magawa ng Cleveland na maka-10-0 playoff starts sa magkasunod na seasons.

Dalawang panalo na lang ang Warriors para sa kanilang ikatlong sunod na NBA Finals at ikatlong sunod na pakikipagkita sa Cavaliers.

Ang record NBA playoff start na 11-0 ay dalawang beses nagawa ng Los Angeles Lakers, noong 2001 nang matalo lang sila ng isang beses tungo sa titulo at noong 1989 nang makarating sila sa final ngunit na-sweep ng Detroit.

Isang susi sa tagumpay ng Cleveland ay ang pananamantala sa mahaba nilang pahinga sa pagitan ng bawat rounds ngunit puspusan naman ang kanilang pag-eensayo.

“We put in a lot of work,” sabi ni James. “We’ve been on the practice court or in the weight room training as if we were playing. There’s no way you can substitute a game. But the work that we put in this week, we just tried to be as up to speed as possible when the game did come.”

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