(SportsNetwork.com) - The Cleveland Cavaliers will try to take a 2-0 series lead Tuesday night when they tangle with the Boston Celtics in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at Quicken Loans Arena.
Cleveland won Game 1, 113-100, Sunday afternoon, thanks to someone other than LeBron James.
Kyrie Irving, who made his postseason debut, scored 30 points on Sunday to lead the Cavs to the victory.
"He's our floor general," said James. "He set the tone early with his ability to shoot the ball and to get in the lane."
Irving scored 20 of his 30 points in the first half, including 12 in the second quarter when he went 4-for-4 on 3s, including a buzzer-beater to give the second-seeded Cavs a 62-54 lead after they trailed by eight.
"I thought we found him when we needed to and I thought we gave him the space he needed," first-year Cavs coach David Blatt said of Irving. "He's tough to guard, let's be honest."
Cleveland led by as much as 20 in the third quarter. James didn't sit much in the game, but he was on the bench when the Cavs scored the last nine points in the third after letting Boston get within six.
The game was never closer than 10 after that.
Cleveland hosted a playoff game for the first time since May 11, 2010, when James was booed by some fans after going 3-for-14 in a Game 5 loss to Boston in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The Cavs were eliminated two days later. Two months after that, James went on national TV and announced he was leaving Cleveland to play for the Miami Heat, who he would lead to four consecutive Eastern Conference titles and two NBA championships, becoming the postseason star fans in his home state hoped he would be for the Cavs.
James scored 20 points in a game-high 42 minutes on Sunday and Kevin Love, after 439 regular season games with Minnesota and Cleveland, finally got a taste of the postseason and finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds.
"It makes it easier when I have guys like this who have my back and consistently give me confidence to go out there and be myself," said Irving.
Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics with 22 points and 10 assists. He might be a motivated Celtic on Tuesday considering he finished second to Toronto's Lou Williams in Sixth Man of the Year voting.
Evan Turner and Kelly Olynyk finished with 12 apiece, followed by Jae Crowder, Brandon Bass and Marcus Smart, who all tallied 10 points each in Game 1.
Even the Celtics were taken by Irving's performance.
"I thought we defended him really well on a couple of shots that he just hit," said Boston coach Brad Stevens. "The ones you (worry about) as a coach are not the ones they go Superman on you. The offensive rebounds kill you. The super- human shots do not."
Game 3 is scheduled for Thursday night in Boston.