NBA

Tue, Feb 28, 2012 - 7:00 PM ET
Game Recap
 

Allen, Garnett pace Celtics in victory

Anthony Parker, Cleveland Cavaliers
Anthony Parker reacts after missing a last-second try to tie the score with a trey.
Share This Story

   
 

CLEVELAND (AP)

For a team that just snapped a five-game losing streak, the Boston Celtics weren't doing much celebrating following Tuesday night's 86-83 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

bracket

THE RIGHT MOVES

See how NBA dance teams get crowds all fired up.

In fact, cranky would best describe the Celtics' mood as they packed for a trip home to play Milwaukee on Wednesday.

''It was a win, that's all it was for us,'' Boston coach Doc Rivers said. ''It was a good way to end the losing streak, but we have to be better than that. That was awful.''

Ray Allen scored 22 points and Kevin Garnett added 18 as Boston, which couldn't hold a 16-point lead in the first quarter, avoided its first six-game skid since dropping seven in a row from April 4-15, 2007. The Celtics' big lead became a five-point deficit in the third quarter, making the last 12 minutes a possession-by-possession game until Boston finally made enough plays to pull it out.

''Hopefully, this was just a little All-Star hangover,'' Paul Pierce said. ''We're making it hard on ourselves.''

Kyrie Irving returned from a bruised elbow that sidelined him late in the second quarter and led Cleveland with 24 points, 19 in the second half.

Irving hit two free throws with 1:21 remaining to give Cleveland an 81-80 lead. After Allen missed a 3-pointer, Garnett tipped Irving's pass, leading to Allen's dunk with 48.6 seconds left that put Boston ahead for good.

''I got my hand on it and I got the ball to Ray for a layup,'' Garnett said. ''Nothing special about it.''

Irving said it was simply a good defensive play by the Celtics.

bracket

TEAM GRADES

Harvard-man Lin boosts Knicks' grade on our midseason report card.

''I wasn't careless,'' Irving said. ''They anticipated it and they stole the ball. Nothing big.''

Irving drove down the lane and missed a layup with 27 seconds remaining. Garnett missed on Boston's next possession, but grabbed his own rebound and was fouled by Antawn Jamison with 3.9 seconds to go. Garnett made both shots and the Cavaliers called a timeout trailing 84-81.

Irving was fouled before he could get off a 3-point attempt and made both free throws with 3.5 seconds left. Allen hit two foul shots with 2.4 seconds remaining, and Anthony Parker's 3-pointer at the buzzer hit the front rim.

A moment of silence was observed before the game for the victims of Monday's shootings at Chardon High School, located approximately 30 miles from Cleveland. Three students were killed and two were wounded.

The Celtics lead the Cavaliers by 2 1/2 games for eighth place in the Eastern Conference. Boston lost its final five games before the All-Star break, the last three by 15 or more points.

''We've got to fight through this,'' Garnett said. ''This is going to be a true grind right here, physically and mentally.''

It appeared the Celtics were headed to a blowout of their own as they dominated the first quarter, shooting 12 for 20 from the field. Their biggest lead was 28-12 on Garnett's bank shot with 19 seconds left in the period.

Irving left the game with 3:41 remaining before halftime after taking a charge from Pierce. Irving was taken to the locker room and returned to the bench with about two minutes to go, but didn't play the rest of the half. Cleveland trailed 43-38 at halftime.

''I just hit my elbow on the floor,'' Irving said. ''Once I got back (to the locker room) I felt much better. There was nothing funny about it (hitting his funny bone). It was my first almost-injury in the NBA.''

Irving returned to begin the second half and immediately made his presence felt. His 3-pointer broke a 53-all tie with 5:03 remaining in the quarter. Irving followed with a steal and a breakaway dunk to give Cleveland a five-point lead, its largest of the game.

Irving had six points in his last game before the All-Star break, tying his career low, and was 2 for 13 from the field. He scored 34 points and earned MVP honors in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday.

''He's terrific,'' Rivers said. ''His handling skills and moxie in the fourth quarter, I don't know if we've ever seen it from a rookie.''

Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo was held scoreless for the first time since March 16 last season against Indiana. He had 11 assists, but committed five turnovers.

''He was struggling,'' Rivers said. ''I think he got down on himself because of his turnovers.''

Cleveland finished its franchise record nine-game homestand with a 4-5 record.

Celtics center Jermaine O'Neal missed his second straight game with a sprained left wrist. He remained in Boston and will be examined by doctors Wednesday.

NOTES: Boston F Brandon Bass, who had missed the past six games with a sore left knee, and center Chris Wilcox, who didn't play in the final game before the All-Star break because of a strained right adductor, both returned. Bass scored 12 points, while Wilcox had five points and a season-high 11 rebounds. ... Parker returned after missing 12 games because of a lower back strain. He scored one point in 22 minutes. ... The Cavaliers play in New York on Wednesday night.

Tagged: Celtics, Cavaliers, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NBA Videos

LeBron's back and so are the Cavs Posted: Jul 11, 2014
FOX Sports 1's Gary Payton weighs-in on LeBron's decision to return to Cleveland...

LeBron's going home to Cleveland Posted: Jul 11, 2014
Miami Heat beat writer Ira Winderman breaks down LeBron's decision to return hom...

Cleveland welcomes home LeBron Posted: Jul 11, 2014
FOX Sports 1's Jenny Taft reports on LeBron returning to Cleveland. Check out th...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Clippers/browse/featuredproduct/491845/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_491000/ff_491845_xl.jpg&w=100 59.95 adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red
    adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/498609/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_498000/ff_498609_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black
    adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Knicks/browse/featuredproduct/620470/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_620000/ff_620470_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey..
    Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Antonio_Spurs/browse/featuredproduct/692239/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_692000/ff_692239_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat
    Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/851828/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851828_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black
    Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/851842/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851842_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White
    adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/890174/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890174_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Wh..
    adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room Flex Hat - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/890384/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890384_xl.jpg&w=100 19.99 adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room F..