Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder grab important and comfortable wins in NBA

Jaylen Brown led Eastern Conference top seeds Boston Celtics to an emphatic win over Cleveland Cavaliers in the first game of their NBA play-off semi-final.

Brown scored 32 points alongside Derrick White’s 25, which included seven three-pointers, as the Celtics eased to a 120-95 victory in Boston.

The Celtics are chasing a record 18th NBA championship.

“It starts with defence, we wanted to set the tone on defence and we kept them under 100,” said Brown.

“But we feel like we’ve got an answer for everything so we just play the game the right way.”

Boston were in complete control for most of the game, holding a double-digit lead through the second half.

Donovan Mitchell top-scored for the Cavaliers with 33 points, while Evan Mobley added 17 and Darius Garland 14.

Game two of the best-of-seven series takes place in Boston on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 29 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder earned a 117-95 win over the visiting Dallas Mavericks in the opening game of their Western Conference semi-final.

Gilgeous-Alexander’s scoring efforts were complemented by nine rebounds and nine assists as the Thunder, who have an average age of just over 23, became the youngest side in history to win an NBA play-off semi-final.

Kyrie Irving scored 20 points and Luka Doncic, who was struggling with a sore knee, finished with 19 as the Mavericks stayed in contention until the final quarter.

The second game of the series takes place in Oklahoma City on Thursday.

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