Cavaliers blowout the Celtics with Paul Pierce sitting front row on his big day, 121-99
The new look Cleveland Cavaliers came in and put a beatdown on the Boston Celtics on Paul Pierce Day, 121-99. A rejuvenated LeBron James would've had his 3rd-straight triple-double had he been needed at all in the 4th quarter. He finished the game with 24 points, 10 assists, and 8 rebounds in just 27 minutes of play after he was able to sit the entire 4th quarter with the Cavs way out front.
For the Celtics, Terry Rozier led the team with 21 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists, and Kyrie Irving and Marcus Morris finished with 18 and 17 points respectively in a game where the Celtics couldn't seem to do anything right. Horrendous shooting and offensive rhythm mixed with lackadaisical defense led to a blowout against a team full of new players who some of which had never played with one another before.
The Garden crown was alive right from the jump this afternoon. After a LeBron miss while being checked by Irving on one end led to the Celtics point guard dusting his old pal on the other on a step-back jumper the roof nearly came off the building earning in the 1st.
Sadly, that would be the lone bright spot in the entire game for the Celtics.
LeBron came up lame after banging knees with Aron Baynes on a trip to the basket midway through the opening quarter. He would sit the rest of the 1st and return early in the 2nd quarter.
Despite the scare, LeBron came back and fueled the Cavs to a strong 1st half finish as they led the Celtics by 12 at the break, 64-52. James was in top form, scoring a game-best 17 points by halftime and well on his way to a third straight triple-double with 6 assists and 5 rebounds to boot.
The Celtics kept pace with the Cavs until an uncharacteristic plethora of turnovers late in the 2nd, including a series of three straight which all ended in points for Cleveland.
Seven turnovers in the second quarter for the Celtics. Ugly showing.
The league's top ranked defense didn't look any better to start the 2nd half, with Cleveland continuing to score at will against the C's. The Cavs extended their lead to 26 before the Celtics showed any signs of life late in the 3rd.
The spark from Boston was snuffed out rather quickly, and the Cavs continued to dominate into the final quarter. The Garden crowd just wanted to get on with the festivities as a "We Want Paul Pierce" chant filled the arena in what seemed to be a plea for the game to just be finished.
The entire 4th served essentially as garbage time. Most of both teams' starters remained seated for the end of a game that started like it might be a good showdown, but ultimately ended in a one-sided beatdown at the hands of perhaps Paul Pierce's greatest nemesis - with The Truth sitting right their in the front row. His face says it all...