Celtics top Cavs, 99-90, in Cleveland

Marcus Smart provided a well-rounded effort against the rather unmotivated Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Celtics looked great in the early going as they opened the game on an 8-2 run. The Smart/Bradley backcourt led the charge throughout the first, and the combination of great ball movement and solid defense continued in the second.

Despite a buzzer beating three by Matthew Dellavedova to beat the halftime horn, the Celtics went into the locker-room with a solid 54-40 cushion. Kevin Love was really the only standout in the early half for the Cavs with 11 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists.

The Celtics simply looked better in all facets of the game, shooting an awesome 54.5% from the field, 50% from three, and one of two from the line to the Cavs' 36.6%/14.3%/72.7%. Boston also totaled seven fast break points to Cleveland's zero.

LeBron James came out an aggressive facilitator to lead the Cavs to a dominant third quarter. Cleveland climbed all the way back from the 14 point deficit to tie it with just under four minutes left.

The Celts and Cavs exchanged buckets into the early part of the fourth quarter and it stayed close for a bit, but when David Blatt sat his starters it was all but over. With the 2-seed locked, the Cavs went with their second unit and Boston maintained a comfortable lead. After a rather uneventful fourth, the Celts finished victorious, 99-90.

For Boston, Marcus Smart shined with 19 points on 7-10 shooting (3-5 from distance), 3 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal. Avery Bradley chipped in 15 points (7-12 shooting), 4 assists, 2 rebounds and 2 steals.

Kevin Love did most of the damage for the Cavaliers with 19 points (6-12 shooting), 6 rebounds and 4 assists. LeBron James finished with 14 points (5-14 shooting), 7 assists and 3 rebounds in 26 minutes.

A look at the final box score for Boston:

The Celtics (37-42) will face the Cavs (51-28) again at 3:00 ET PM on Sunday, April 12, in Boston.

Photo courtesy of AP Photo/Tony Dejak