Brown, White lead Celtics' 3-point onslaught, powering Boston to 120-95 Game 1 win over Cavaliers

Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) shoots against Cleveland Cavaliers forward Isaac Okoro (35) during the first half of Game 1 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Tuesday, May 7, 2024, in Boston.
Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) shoots against Cleveland Cavaliers forward Isaac Okoro (35) during the first half of Game 1 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Tuesday, May 7, 2024, in Boston. AP Photo

BOSTON — Jaylen Brown scored 32 points, Derrick White made seven 3-pointers and added 25, and the Boston Celtics powered past the Cleveland Cavaliers 120-95 on Tuesday night in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series.

Jayson Tatum finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds to help the Celtics pull away in the second half.

The Cavaliers went 11 of 42 from 3-point range and kept pace early. But the Celtics were even more efficient from the outside, connecting on 18 of 46 from beyond the arc for the game.

It helped Boston carry a 15-point lead into the fourth quarter. The Celtics then started the final period on a 10-2 run to increase their lead to 102-79.

Donovan Mitchell had 33 points and six assists for the Cavaliers. He is the fourth player in league history to score 30 or more points in six straight playoff series openers, joining Michael Jordan (three times), Kobe Bryant and Wilt Chamberlain.

Darius Garland added 14 points.

Game 2 is Thursday night in Boston.

White picked up where he left off after scoring 38 and 25 points in the final two games against the Miami Heat in the first round.

With the Cavaliers hot from the 3-point line early, White led the Celtics attack. It was his third time this postseason with at least six 3s.

Both teams played without their starting centers. Cleveland’s Jarrett Allen missed his fourth straight game with a bruised rib injury he sustained in the first round against Orlando. Boston’s Kristaps Porzingis was sidelined for the second consecutive game with a strained right calf.

The top-seeded Celtics got an extended break after making quick work of the Heat in the first round. They looked like a rested team, jumping out to a 12-2 lead, with nine of those points coming from Brown.

Mitchell was just as aggressive for Cleveland, scoring eight points during a 21-9 spurt by the Cavaliers to nudge back in front.

But Boston settled down, closing the opening period on a 19-11 run to take a 40-34 edge into the second.

The 74 combined points in the opening period were the most in a Celtics’ playoff game since 1990 and third-most in franchise history.

The Celtics took a 59-49 lead into halftime. (AP)

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