After an incredible start in Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, the Boston Celtics could not stave off the Cavaliers in lopsided 120-103 loss.
The C's started the game even with the Cavs through the first six minutes of the first quarter. Then, it became all Celtics. An 8-0 run pushed the Boston lead to 10 with 5:20 to go in the first frame. Guided by Isaiah Thomas (27 pts, 4 ast, 3 reb) who drilled two threes in the quarter, the C's would go up by 18 late in the first. However, Tristan Thompson (12 pts, 5 reb) and J.R. Smith (14 pts, 3 ast, 3 reb) would bring the deficit to 13 to end the quarter. 35-22, Celtics.
Then the Cavs clawed back in the second period. An 11-0 run that saw four Cavaliers work their way to the charity stripe brought Cleveland back to within one point. The rest of the second quarter would be a dogfight in which the C's held onto their lead up until the two-minute mark in the frame. The theme of the quarter was free throws for the Cavs, though, as 15 of their 33 points came from the free throw line. 55-54, Cavaliers at the half.
Coming out of the half, Cleveland relentlessly added to their lead. Scoring 14 points in the paint in the third quarter alone, the Celtics watched a one point game inflate to up to eight points. Boston stuck with Cleveland throughout the period, though. The quarter was 12 minutes of runs by both teams. Multiple times, the Celtics saw themselves trailing by six, but clawed back to tie it up again, even taking the lead with 6:30 left in the third. That would be Boston's last lead of the night though, as the Cavs ended the third quarter up 91-83.
The fourth was more of the same for Boston. Shots weren't falling for the C's while the Cavs repetitively worked their way to the free throw line. Trailing by double digits for most of the quarter, the Celtics were able to cut the deficit to just seven with 5:31 to go in the game. But the exhausted C's couldn't conjure up a comeback in the final half of the fourth and ultimately fell 120-103.
LeBron James (28 pts, 11 reb, 8 ast) finished with nearly a triple double as he lead all scorers in the game, only one point more than Isaiah. Thomas was able to shake off his horrible shooting against Cleveland, though, and finished 9-for-15 from the floor and 4-for-6 from outside the arc. Jared Sullinger (17 pts, 13 reb) also had a big game, but couldn't come up big down the stretch to bring the C's a win on the road.
With this win, Cleveland wins the season series against the Celtics 2-1. Next time they will see each other will either be in the postseason, or next fall.
Photo cred: Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Topher Lane 3/05/2016 09:55:00 PM Tweet Edit