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When you check out the stat lines from the Celtics win over the Cavaliers last night, almost nothing seems right, not even the final score of 102-88. Terry Rozier being the games' high-scorer, even outscoring Lebron James 20-to-19, in only 20 minutes of floor time? Al Horford and Kyrie Irving only scoring 11 points each? Marcus Smart accurately notching 15 points on 6/14 from the field and 3-of-6 from beyond the arc?

Even the Cavaliers numbers don't seem right. Lebron shooting well but only racking up 19 points? Kevin Love scoring only two points on miserable accuracy from the field (one-of-eleven) and on threes (0-for-4)?



This Boston win was improbable for the manner in which it occurred, but it was no fluke. Defense, rebounding, team play and several days of preparation by Brad Stevens all came into play. The Celtics outrebounded the Cavaliers 52-48, with Al and Kyrie each grabbing nine. Boston out-assisted Cleveland 27-16, with Irving sharing game-high honors with James at six assists each.


There are many story lines from this game, but I see it as an extremely important win for Boston, mainly because it was accomplished in the right way. Kyrie did not try to take over the game, and he got his teammates involved, and those guys came through. I have written before that Boston needs to be in the high 40's or low 50's in rebounding, and they snagged 52 to Cleveland's 48. They played tough defense and held Cleveland to a season-low 88 points. My take is that Kyrie wanted this win badly. He got it and he got it the right way.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Stuart Cahill/The Boston Herald



Tom Lane 1/04/2018 06:36:00 AM Edit
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