Baynes plays well as Celtics down Cavs

By Peter Mitchell, AAP US Correspondent
Aron Baynes has adapted brilliantly to his ever-changing roles asked of him at Boston

Aron Baynes had power dunks and sank a key three pointer to help power the Boston Celtics to another win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.

The Celtics survived an early point scoring onslaught by LeBron James to defeat the Cavaliers 107-94 in Boston on Tuesday and take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

James was sensational in the first quarter, scoring 21 points.

He finished the game with 42 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds, but the Celtics' team effort was too much for the Cavaliers.

Australian big man Baynes energised the Celtics off the bench, with two of his three dunks in the first quarter.

He continue his newfound long range shooting with a three-pointer late in the third quarter to put the Celtics up 79-74 and on their way to the victory.

Baynes had nine points and six rebounds for the game.

The Celtics' spread the scoring, with six players in double figures led by Jaylen Brown's 23 points.

The Cavs led 27-23 at the end of the first quarter and 47-36 at halftime.

James' dominating play was slowed late in the first half when he was attacking the basket and his face collided with the shoulder of Celtics' rookie Jayson Tatum.

James went to the locker room with a sprained neck, but returned to the court.

The game exploded late in the fourth quarter when Cavs guard JR Smith pushed Boston's Al Horford in the back going up for a dunk.

Celtics' Marcus Smart confronted JR Smith.

James had support from forward Kevin Love's 22 points and 15 rebounds but the Cavs' guards were once again dismal, with Smith scoreless while missing all seven shot attempts and George Hill just three points.

Game three is in Cleveland on Saturday.