THE Cleveland Cavaliers took charge early and cruised to a 117-104 victory over the Celtics in the opener of the Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday in Boston (Thursday, Manila time).
LeBron James scored 23 of his 38 points in the first half and the Cavaliers made it nine wins in nine games in these playoffs.
The Cavaliers swept past the Indiana Pacers in the first round and the Toronto Raptors in the conference semifinals.
James played 42 minutes, making 14 of 24 field goal attempts.
The Cavaliers took charge with a 30-19 first quarter and never looked back.
Kevin Love scored 32 on 9 of 16 shooting, including 6 of 9 from beyond the arc, while Tristan Thompson went 7 for 7 and wound up with 20 points.
Kyrie Irving had 11 points, going 4 for 11 in 34 minutes of action.
Game Two is on Friday in Boston.
Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder scored 21 points each for the Celtics, while Isaiah Thomas came up with 17 points on 7 of 19 shooting.