CLEVELAND (AP) — Collin Sexton scored 29 points, Darius Garland added 25 and Cleveland’s young guards made big plays down the stretch as the Cavaliers ended a four-game losing streak with a 117-110 win over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night.
The Cavs also ended a nine-game losing streak to the Celtics, who wore their familiar green on St. Patrick’s Day but had nothing to celebrate.READ MORE: Water Conservation Urged In Massachusetts Amid Dry Spell
Cleveland played with a lead all night, but the Cavs had to hold off a second-half rally by Boston led by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
Tatum scored 29 points and Brown 28 for the Celtics, who lost at home to the Utah Jazz on Tuesday and only had one lead — 2-0 — over the Cavs.
With Cleveland clinging to a four-point lead, Garland hit a runner in the lane, and after a miss by Brown, Cavs rookie Isaac Okoro threw down a vicious dunk and was fouled by Tatum. He completed the three-point play to make it 105-98.
Sexton followed with his own three-point play a minute later to put the Cavs ahead by 12, and Cleveland, which lost at Miami on Tuesday, made its free throws in the final two minutes to get its first win since the All-Star break.
Larry Nance Jr. added 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Okoro had 15 points.
Boston was just 10 of 38 on 3-pointers with Tatum and Brown going a combined 5 of 25.
The Celtics were without guard Kemba Walker (knee injury management) and forward Tristan Thompson (health and safety protocols).
After the Celtics trimmed Cleveland’s lead to eight points going into the final quarter, Tatum took control early in the fourth and scored 12 straight points to pull Boston within four.
Playing their best half since the All-Star break, the Cavs built a 21-point lead in the first half while taking advantage of Boston’s misfires.READ MORE: Massachusetts Reports 1,831 New COVID Cases, 8 Additional Deaths
The Cavaliers paid tribute to longtime broadcaster Joe Tait, who died last week, by having a moment of silence before the game.
Tait did radio play-by-play for the team from its inception in 1970 and for 39 seasons. After he retired in 2011, the Cavs hung a banner honoring “The voice of the Cavaliers” among their retired jerseys.
Celtics: This would have been Thompson’s first game back in Cleveland since leaving as a free agent last year. A longtime fan favorite, Thompson spent nine seasons with the Cavs, who drafted him with the No. 4 overall pick in 2011. … With the March 25 trade deadline nearing, coach Brad Stevens said he doesn’t feel the need to assure his players of their status. “Most of these guys have been through the rumor room,” he said.
Cavaliers: F Kevin Love was out again. He missed his second game in a row since returning last week and feeling some discomfort in his second game back with a severe calf strain that has kept him more than two months. … G Matthew Dellavedova is recovered from a concussion but has not yet been cleared to return following an appendectomy. Coach J.B. Bickerstaff said the veteran will be back “sooner rather than later” but did not provide a timeline. … The NBA moved Cleveland’s April 9 game against Toronto to April 10.
Celtics: Host Sacramento on Friday. Boston has won 13 straight at home against the Kings.
Cavaliers: Continue a four-games-in-six-days homestand by hosting San Antonio on Friday. The Spurs’ scheduled visit during the season’s first half was postponed by COVID-19 issues.MORE NEWS: Dorchester Grandmother Killed By Stray Bullet While Sitting On Porch Identified As Delois Brown
(© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)