BOSTON — Marcus Morris didn’t exactly enter the Eastern Conference finals on a hot streak.
The veteran forward had scored 11 points or less in six of the Boston Celtics’ last eight playoff games, but it was clear Morris was going to be a critical player for the C’s in the ECF against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
And he certainly made the most of his opportunity Sunday afternoon at TD Garden.
In his first game in Boston’s starting lineup this postseason, Morris scored 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. He also pulled down 10 rebounds and posted a plus-25 rating in the Celtics’ dominant 108-83 Game 1 win.
Morris believes his offensive outburst simply was a product of the Celtics’ fluid offense.
“Just playing in the flow of the game,” Morris said. “Got a lot of open shots, a lot of easy shots. We just did a good job of moving the ball.
“If you look down at the boxscore, we all shot the ball pretty well. We just did a good job of getting in transition, getting stops. Normally, once you get stops, the offense comes easier.”
It was an afternoon full of stops for Boston, as its tenacious defense limited the Cavs to a 36 percent shooting mark. Not to mention, the C’s limited LeBron James to just 15 points. To put this in perspective, James had been limited to 15 points or less in just 11 of his 228 career postseason games entering Sunday. Morris proved to be a leading factor in subduing James, but the Celtics forward shifted the praise to his team for slowing him down.
“It’s a team effort, man. It’s not just me,” Morris said. “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.”
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports
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