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Celtics look to build off dominant Game 1 win tonight on TSN

Darius Garland Jayson Tatum Max Strus Cleveland Cavaliers Boston Celtics Darius Garland Jayson Tatum Max Strus - The Canadian Press

The Boston Celtics dominated in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Cleveland Cavaliers, rolling to a 120-95 win Tuesday night.

It was a convincing start to the second round for a team that’s been considered title favourites for much of the season.

Watch Game 2 LIVE at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on TSN4, and the TSN App.

Boston showed little rust from their six-day layoff following their five-game victory over the Miami Heat in the opening round.

Jaylen Brown had a team-high 32 points and Derrick White chipped in with 25 – including a game-high seven three-pointers – as the Celtics built a double-digit lead in the second quarter and never looked back.

“I had it rolling tonight,” Brown said. “You just want to come out and make the right plays, make the right reads. That’s all it is. Playing through your teammates and playing with confidence.”

The Celtics outshot Cleveland from the field, three-point territory and the free throw line, also winning the rebound battle 55 to 38.

Jayson Tatum had 18 points on 7-of-19 shooting. He pointed to the lopsided win in Game 1 as an example of how many ways the Celtics can attack opponents on the offensive end even when he has an off-night.

“We’ve got a really talented team," Tatum said. "It shows the depth of our team, and how we can win games in a lot of different ways.”

Donovan Mitchell had 33 points and six assists for the Cavs in the loss. Mitchell logged a game-high 37 minutes Tuesday after playing 45 in Cleveland’s Game 7 victory against the Orlando Magic over the weekend. Head coach J.B. Bickerstaff knows Mitchell needs to shoulder a heavy workload if his team has any chance at upsetting the Celtics in Round 2.

“We try to put him out there as long as we can. He’s playing over 40 minutes a game. So we’re doing our best to keep him out there because we know how impactful he is," Bickerstaff said. "But we’re not going to run him into the ground, so he’s got nothing left in the fourth quarter.”

Another thing that would help the Cavs is having Jarrett Allen in the lineup.

The 6-foot-11 centre has missed Cleveland’s last four games with a rib injury and is officially designated as questionable heading into Thursday night. Allen played in 77 games during the regular season and helped anchor a defence that allowed the third fewest points per game among Eastern Conference teams during the regular season.

On the Celtics’ side, forward Kristaps Porzingis continues to be sidelined with a calf injury suffered in Game 4 of the first round. Head coach Joe Mazzulla told radio station 98.5 The Sports Hub earlier this week Porzingis is progressing “better than we thought,” but also conceded he does not have a return timeline.  

After Game 2 Thursday night, the series shifts to Cleveland for Game 3 Saturday evening.