The Cavaliers win 99-91. James scores 30 points, Irving scores 26 points and Mozgov scores 16 points. Thomas scores 22 points for the Celtics. Cleveland leads the East First Round Series 2-0. James:
I’ve been in this moment before, and a lot of our guys haven’t. I thought it was important for me to put a stamp on this game.
Coach Stevens on Celtics loss:
We made those guys earn everything they got. And that’s a step in the right direction. We were in a three-possession game and we shot 38 percent.
It wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t pretty. But we got it done.
James, Garnett, Irving, and Williams wear the black shirts with white text during the pre-game warmups for the Nets-Cavs clash, after Bulls guard Derrick Rose wore the same shirt in a Saturday pre-game warmup in solidarity for Garner. Nets guard Jarrett Jack, who played for the Cavs last season and says he supplied the Cavs players with the shirts after he heard James was looking for them:
I just heard people’s opinion on the topic, and I know [the Cavaliers] are on the road, this is the place where it happened, so if they wanted to be a part of the cause or make a statement without actually necessarily saying any words, I definitely extended the invitation…I know us as a team we’re gonna go out and try to make a stance and show that we’re a team that’s not with prejudice. We want to have tolerance for everybody.
Irving comments on how his rookie season is going in the NBA:
I mean, probably something that really overwhelmed me was probably when we played the Lakers in L.A. and we were playing against Kobe Bryant the first time. Sometimes I just caught myself watching because a year ago I was watching him go throughout the season and play on TV all the time. I was finally playing against the Lakers and Kobe Bryant. That was probably my ‘Welcome to the NBA’ moment.
Irving comments on adjusting to the NBA:
More or less I’m concerned about the time management at the next level. I’ve heard there’s a lot of down time. Just getting used to playing back-to-backs and flying and taking care of your body and playing again. I just think that’s a transition that I’m going to have to experience myself.
Irving speaks about leaving school early for the NBA:
It was a really tough decision for me to decide to turn pro, but it was the best situation for me and my family. If I wouldn’t have come back for the NCAA Tournament for those three games and proved I was healthy I wouldn’t have come out because it was such a small window having only eight games, but getting the opportunity to play in the NCAA Tournament and prove that I was healthy and I was still good enough to play in the NBA that kinda made my decision a lot easier.
Irving talks about getting injured early in the season:
On December 4, when it first happened, I stepped back on the sideline and all of my weight was on my toe and I separated ligaments in my big toe and it just felt like nothing was there anymore, my big toe swelled up. Somehow miraculously I went back in the game and I finished out the game and when I got back to the locker room it just swelled up and I could barely move it the next day.
Krzyzewski comments on Irving’s injury:
The latest is the same and it’s he’s going to be out an extended period of time. We’re having him see a couple of the best people in the country. We have one of the best people in the country right here at Duke in Jim Nunnely, and he’ll see a couple other people over the course of the next several weeks. We have a course of action in seeing people and while he’s seeing those people, he’s in a position where recovery is taking place. However, it’s a very sensitive injury and there’s a few different methods you would go about in treating it, and we want to make sure that the method we’re using ensures his career.