CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Cleveland Cavaliers have set an NBA playoff record, ending the first half of the Eastern Conference Finals Game 2 with a 41-point lead against the Boston Celtics.
Cleveland led by 39 points with eight seconds left in the second quarter when Kevin Love missed a corner 3-pointer. The rebound ricocheted to J.R. Smith, who drained a spinning, fadeaway jumper at the buzzer to give Cleveland the record.
James and Kevin Love combined for 40 points in the first half while the Cavaliers limited Boston’s Al Horford and Isaiah Thomas to two total points.
Cleveland’s 41-point lead eclipses the mark set by the Detroit Pistons against Washington in April of 1987.
TNT play-by-play man Marv Albert was in the middle of saying that Cleveland would not set the NBA playoff record for biggest lead as Love’s jumper caromed off the back of the rim to Smith.
But Albert emphatically changed direction in mid-sentence “Yes they will!” as Smith’s shot beat the buzzer.
J.R. Smith beats the buzzer! [?] @cavs lead 72-31 at halftime. #NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/4SDaNAC0oi
— NBA TV (@NBATV) May 20, 2017