LeBron James shook off speculation regarding his famously wounded elbow early and often Friday night in Boston to lead the Cavs to a 124-95 win over the Celtics.
Aggressive from the opening tip, LeBron missed his first jump shot but soon found the range. He hit a number of long jumpers in a spirited first quarter on the way to outscoring the Celtics by himself, 21 to 17.
Cleveland led 36-17 at the end of first quarter and never looked back. LeBron never let up either.
He finished with 38 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists. But his play went even beyond the numbers.
Amidst a team full of unproven role players, a semi-star who disappears in crunch time, a star who has never won anything, and a super-sized star barely able to get up and down the court, LeBron provided the stability. He picked his spots to score, yelled instructions defensively, and played under control all night long.
Even when he didn’t touch the ball, he was making things happen. He played with a focus and energy, something noticeably absent in Game 2.
If LeBron plays like he did Friday, nobody will beat the Cavs. It’s just that simple.