Victim for years, Horford centerpiece of game plan to beat Cavs

9:41 PM ET

BOSTON — The Cleveland Cavaliers’ dominance of the Eastern Conference over the past three-plus years can be epitomized by what they’ve inflicted on one of the conference’s All-Stars: Al Horford.

This is the fourth consecutive year Horford has seen LeBron James, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson and other Cavs up close in the spring. He may have spent more time with them on Mother’s Day than his own mom over the past few years.

Horford played against them with the Atlanta Hawks in 2015 and ’16 and didn’t take part in a single win, getting ejected from one game in 2015 for a flagrant foul. Last season, he absorbed another lopsided series loss after moving to the Boston Celtics. In the final game of his season, Horford mustered just eight points and three rebounds, going out meekly.

When including a 2009 series sweep loss to the Cavs, Horford came into the Eastern Conference finals with a 1-15 playoff record against James-led Cavs teams in the postseason. James and a collection of Cavs big men

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