Jaylen Brown hailed the growth of "aggressive" Derrick White, who continued his impressive postseason form in the Boston Celtics' victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The pair scored a combined 57 points as the Celtics prevailed 120-95 in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semi-finals series at TD Garden.

White notched up seven three-pointers - going four-for-six in the third quarter - as he became only the fifth player in NBA history to make 20 or more over a three-game span in the postseason, after Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Jamal Murray and Damian Lillard.

And Brown, who was 12-for-18 shooting to go with six rebounds, two assists and just one turnover, paid tribute to his team-mate as the Celtics improved to 5-1 in the playoffs.

"Derrick has grown," Brown said. "He's a new version that we haven't seen before.

"He's put the work in, his body has developed a little bit, he's got some more playoff experience. He's being aggressive, and we urge him to do that more and more down the line."

Asked if he felt like he was in a rhythm, White said: "I'd say so. It feels good. I just want to help us win."

Meanwhile, Donovan Mitchell's haul of 33 points and six assists proved academic for the Cavaliers, who suffered their fourth successive road defeat in the postseason.

J.B. Bickerstaff, whose side came through an epic seven-game series against Orlando Magic in the opening round on Sunday, saluted the efforts of his players.

"There's a lot of areas we can improve on," he said. "I thought the guys came out with the right intent and the right effort. Facing a team like Boston, I think it's good to be able to play them.

"You're not used to the speed, the spacing, the shooting and all those things until you get up against them - especially coming from a series we just came from that was more of a half-court slugfest, where they play with more tempo and more space. We'll learn from it, and we'll be better."