Heading into this years NBA playoffs, Kyrie Irving has always been a big money player, playing his best when the lights were on the brightest.
He has already won Most Valuable Player honors at the 2014 NBA All-Star Game and the 2014 FIBA World Cup. He also won the 2014 NBA All-Star Weekend Three Point shootout and continues to be one of the best point guards in the game.
Some did question how he would play in his first NBA playoff game, but Irving wasted no time quieting his critics by making his first five 3-point attempts, scoring 20 points in 21 first-half minutes as the Celtics were desperate for answers on how to stop him. Irving would finish with 30 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists in the 113-100 victory.
LeBron James added 20 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 steals and a block in his return to playoff action with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
His last playoff game with the Cleveland back in 2010 was also against Boston and brought a bitter end to his first stay in Cleveland. Once he arrived in Miami, he learned how to beat the Celtics and led the Heat past them in three straight playoff seasons.
Kevin Love did his part to carry his load in the “Big Three” as he made his final three field-goal attempts and finished with 19 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal in 33 minutes in his postseason debut.
The postseason debut for Love, Irving and head coach David Blatt was a successful one. The same can be said for 6th man of the year candidate Tristan Thompson who also worked his tail off and pulled down 6 rebounds off the bench with 12 crucial points and even had an assist.
The Boston Celtics, a well-coached team by Brad Stevens, hung tough all night and led for most of the first half before the Cavs found their playoff stride. Isiah Thomas Jr. led the Celtics with 22 points off the bench and his sharp shooting kept them in it.
Game 2 is in Cleveland on Tuesday night.