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"Big 3" lead Cavaliers past Celtics 113-100 in Game 1

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More than hour after his first playoff game with LeBron James and Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving made a statement more profound than anything he did on the floor.

Irving scored 30 points in his playoff debut, James added 20 in his first postseason game with Cleveland in five years and Love shook off a slow start to record a double-double, leading the Cavaliers to a 113-100 victory in Game 1 over the Boston Celtics on Sunday.

Irving made five 3-pointers and Love, another postseason rookie, added 19 points - 13 in the second half - and 12 rebounds

James was proud of how his teammates handled their first venture onto the playoff stage.

It was Cleveland's first home playoff game since May 11, 2010, when the Celtics won Game 5 and James left the floor to some boos from Cavaliers fans. He departed for Miami two months later, but he's home now, all is forgiven and Cleveland is aiming to end a championship drought dating to 1964.Isaiah Thomas scored 22 points to lead the seventh-seeded Celtics.

The Cavs built a 20-point lead in the third quarter, let the Celtics get as close as six and then finished the quarter with a 9-0 run - capped a 3-pointer by James Jones - to take a 15-point lead into the fourth. Boston climbed within 10 in the final 12 minutes, but Love made a crucial 3-pointer with 3:32 left to slow Boston.

In the days leading up to the opener, James said he was confident Irving and Love would be ready for the playoffs, but added

Irving said four days of preparation helped the Cavs get ready, and while he and Love didn't say they were nervous, they both seemed relieved to have the opener behind them.

Boston led by eight in the first quarter, but got careless with the ball and finished with 14 turnovers - 13 after the first quarter. They will try to even the best-of-7 series in Game 2 on Tuesday night.