BOSTON — Celtics rookie forward Jaylen Brown did not mince words when asked about his team’s blowout loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals Friday night.
“We got our ass kicked. We didn’t come out with enough energy to start the game, now two games in a row,” Brown said. “The defending champs swept us off the floor.”
Brown scored a playoff career-high 19 points on 7-for-11 shooting, but it wasn’t nearly enough against a Cavaliers team firing on all cylinders.
The Cavs built a double-digit lead after the first quarter and an NBA playoff record 41-point advantage at halftime. Cleveland kept attacking to secure a 130-86 win, their second consecutive blowout victory at TD Garden.
Celtics guard Avery Bradley was embarrassed by his team’s performance, and he thinks the team’s response in Game 3 will say a lot about them.
“It’s honestly just embarrassing,” Bradley said. “They came out, not only playing harder but knocking down shots. I think that made it much worse but credit to those guys. We’ll find out what kind of team we are seeing how we respond. I’m excited about Game 3.
“I know I’m going to bring it. I’ve been going to war with these guys all year, so I know everybody else is going to have their A game as well no matter what the outcome is. Everyone else is going to come out and play as hard as they can.”
Boston’s challenge, as crazy as it might seem, could get much tougher in Game 3 on Sunday. The Celtics might be without their best player, Isaiah Thomas.
The C’s guard left Game 2 with a right hip strain and the injury reportedly is “considered significant.”
Even if Thomas does suit up, the Celtics likely will need to play a nearly perfect game to beat Cleveland at Quicken Loans Arena, where it went an Eastern Conference-best 31-10 during the regular season.
If the Celtics continue to play anything like they did in Game 2, TD Garden won’t see another NBA game until October.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images