After Boston was beaten up in the Eastern Conference finals opener, Isaiah Thomas was confident the Celtics could bounce back in Game 2.
“We’re not scared of Cleveland,” he said. “They’re not the Monstars. They’re not on ‘Space Jam.’ Like, they lace up their shoes just like us. They just happened to play better than us in Game 1.”
And now Game 2.
Cleveland’s 130-86 victory Friday night was the Celtics’ worst home playoff loss ever, and just three points shy of its franchise playoff-worst, 47-point loss in Game 1 of the 1995 first round against Orlando.
The 130 points by Cleveland was the most ever scored by its franchise in a playoff game, as the Cavaliers head home with a 2-0 series lead.
Thomas only was on the court for half of it, sitting out the final 24 minutes with a right hip strain that he sustained during the first half. He finished with two points in 18 minutes.
Coach Brad Stevens said that Thomas has been playing with a nagging hip injury that he aggravated “pretty significantly” against Washington in Game 6 of their East semifinal matchup.
“Today I thought he looked much different in the first half,” Stevens said. “And we when we went back to the locker room, our training staff and doctors got with him. And he was pretty despondent not to be able to play. He’s a tough guy and for him to have to sit is really hard.”
Thomas will be re-evaluated on Saturday.
But Stevens said Thomas’ absence was “not 44 points-worth” of difference in the game.
“I don’t want to put that on any one guy. I think ultimately they were terrific, we were poor,” Stevens said. “You’ve got to be able to pick up the slack, certainly when other guys aren’t available.”
Thomas tried to inspire his team early in the second quarter when he was called for a technical foul for arguing a foul call on rookie Jaylen Brown. That was followed by another on Stevens.
But nothing worked as the Cavs reeled off a 34-11 run to end the first half.
For the game Boston shot just 37 percent…