Morris defends James during the first quarter of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. (Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- The Celtics inserted Marcus Morris into the starting lineup for Game 1 of the East finals, specifically to defend LeBron James and his 34 points per game entering the series.
The move paid off in a 25-point win.
Morris had 21 points, 10 rebounds, and a plus-25 rating.
LeBron managed 15 points, 7 turnovers, and a game-worst minus-32.
James said Morris did well, but the C's forward admitted it wasn't easy.
"I think they had a great game, playing in Game 1," LeBron said. "He was the start of it. He was my match-up, and I think they did a great job of communicating throughout the whole game, knowing where I was, knowing where our teammates was."
"It's not just me," Morris said. "Everybody played their part in guarding him. He's obviously the best player in the game. You need multiple guys on your team to guard him the entire game, and I just think we did a great job of that."
C's coach Brad Stevens agreed.
"By committee, everybody worked hard," he said. "You just have to make it as hard as possible on LeBron, easier said than done. He's obviously not going to have many games like that."
Morris defended James on a team-high 39 possessions. LeBron had eight points on 3-of-10 shooting.
James said the series opener was a "feel-out game" for him.
Game 2 is Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Adam Kaufman reports