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One Step Back: Cavs 88 Celtics 87

 
Cleveland Cavaliers 88 Final
Recap | Box Score
87 Boston Celtics
Paul Pierce, SF 35 MIN | 8-12 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 5 AST | 18 PTS | -1

On the surface, Pierce’s game looked similar to his previous week’s efforts. But he turned the ball over a whopping 7 times, and like his teammates, couldn’t score down the stretch.

Brandon Bass, PF 38 MIN | 5-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 13 PTS | -6

His limitations are more clear – like 4 rebounds in 38 minutes against length – but his effort is rarely less than passable. His defensive acumen is improving, the irony being he was the big defending the Irving pick and roll on the final Cavs play of the game.

Kevin Garnett, PF 30 MIN | 5-10 FG | 4-4 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 14 PTS | -3

Soft numbers for Garnett today. KG had a crucial late turnover where he claimed an offensive rebound and then instead of going back up with it, traveled in his search for an open man. Not only that, he should have been the focal point of the offense with Jamison covering him. This team takes its cues from him as much as Pierce and he wasn’t totally locked in out there.

Ray Allen, SG 36 MIN | 9-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 22 PTS | +2

A sharp return for Allen on the offensive end. Gave Boston all they could have expected given he was no sure thing to play when he woke up this morning.

Avery Bradley, SG 28 MIN | 2-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 6 PTS | -4

Benefiting from the fact that teams leave him wide open on the weakside, but his entire offensive game, from ball handling to passing to shooting, is entirely controllable if you put pressure on him. On the long steep learning curve, then.

Chris Wilcox, PF 23 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | +15

Would have liked to have seen more of Wilcox, who has played better the last few games and whose rebounding efficiency may eventually challenge KG for the team lead.

Sasha Pavlovic, SF 8 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -1

Pavlovic is playing with an edge on both sides of the ball, which is something the Celtics desperately need on a regular basis. Had a nice forceful drive emblematic of his mindset lately.

Mickael Pietrus, SF 15 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | 0

Off-target shooting tonight, which, aside from transition play, is his main function on offense.

Greg Stiemsma, C 5 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | -8

Seems almost embarrassed to be on the court.

E’Twaun Moore, G 20 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 4 PTS | +3

Better handle than Bradley, more offensive capability and is proving consistently willing to work on defense. Why not run a few things for him?

Three Things We Saw

  1. A return to the lackluster defense that marred the first three weeks of the season. The Cavs managed to hang around the game long enough to steal it because they outworked Boston. The C’s were far too content to trade baskets for long stretches of the game. That’s reflected in everyone’s grades above; simply not enough intensity tonight.
  2. An offense that generated nothing the last four minutes of the game.
  3. A poised, controlled Kyrie Irving who seemed the most mature player on the court at times, despite being only 19. Also, got the winning layup on what was a difficult finish and led a feisty Cavs team to a well-earned win.
  • Mark M.

    We should have won this game but we let them fought back, and we should have than better especially that allen is back.

    Oh well…good luck on your next game c's….

  • I_Love_Green

    WHAT THE HELL

  • CelticsBIG3

    I had a bad feeling about that game throughout. You cannot let teams like Cleveland hang around, they were in the game all night.

  • ripsonics

    yeah.. nice work Boston.

    But this is clearly a game that we did not get up for.. And it showed.

    Should have won by 20. Pretty embarrassing. We'll be back on Tuesday –

    Go C's

  • http://Lovemyceltics.blogspot.com mycelts

    BEING CAVALIER

    Jamison for two, then KG over him,
    Early Cs' shots seemed to hit the front rim.
    Q1 there were several rebounds by KG,
    Ray is back, yep, RAY ALLEN FOR THREE!

    On a three point shot made by Pierce, 
    End Q1, Cs up one (that man's fierce).
    Q2 Pietrus is trying out his three, 
    Assists, rebounds and points from KG.

    On a 'Quis turnover, back in came Ray,
    RAY ALLEN FOR THREE, then a breakaway!
    Turnovers in the league, the Cavs have the most, 
    In the first half that honor was held by the host!

    Pierce an athletic dunk, he was flying high,
    Followed by Bass, Jamison let him go by.
    This kid Irving making an impression in Boston,
    Doc knows him, he played with his son Austin.

    Welcome back Ray, so pretty to see, 
    RAY ALLEN FOR THREE, RAY ALLEN FOR THREE!
    There is one guy Cs fans are loving madly,
    For defense–soon offense–number zero, Bradley.

    Q3 Pierce, The Truth, flew coast to coast,
    Of all the guys on the floor, he wants this the most!
    Cavs bench was tough to start Q4–Gee,
    (He plays for the Cavs, a good game had he).

    Down to the wire, the Cavs on a run,
    Irving with a lay-up, the Cavs win by one.

    • janos

      HI Myc is Janos

      I already bad mood loose dont need poem better only win time do poem, when lose think about how better play win next game ok thank you

    • timthomas4prez

      dude wat's with the poems?

  • someguyinsac

    Disappointed with the outcome today, but not giving up hope anytime soon.

  • I_Love_Green

    Why didn't Pierce play for most of the 4th?

    • Lorilei

      I'm not sure. And Pierce did seem frustrated that he didn't play more in the 4th too…

  • LStrike

    Was pulling my hair out for most of the 4th. I thought we had it in the bag as soon as we had a 10 point lead. Should have known that Boston would have choked against Cleveland. Well deserved win for the Cavs, they out-played us through the stretch.

  • old knees

    Why the hell put the starters in with four minutes to go? They were cold and the subs were in it to win it! Damn this leaves a bad taste.

  • janos

    hi ryan is Janos
    i already make ask yesterday week but not see schedule NBA on site CELTICSub yet? canyou ask Haynes this ok? Better save time me. reason be less time spendt away this site and know better nba celtics and other team also playing time. for examp,les, team do a tough loose today cleveland (without labron!) andi get very upset but if n when game next then have better thought for week up come yes? ok thank you ryan (and haynes(

  • http://twitter.com/michaeljavid @michaeljavid

    If this is our one loss in 5 games, then I can live with it. Props to the young fella for closing it out, wasn't easy…

  • timthomas4prez

    A message to DOC: It is not 2008 any more…..mix it the f upppp, thanks a Celtic fan with an IQ

  • Chris from Danvers

    Troublesome loss. This is one of those loses that may come back and mean the difference between a four seed and a six seed. Looks a lot like some of the losses that occurred in the past couple of years, when the team seemed disinterested. What I did notice – unlike two years ago when there was a lot of disinterest – is that the team thoroughly kicked it into gear before dissolving completely at the end.

    Couple notes:

    Come spring, this is going to be the best bench in the league, bar none…

    Bass – still looks great. Hope we can keep him next year. Love him in the starting lineup with KG at the center, but he's solid off the bench.

    Wilcox – seems to be a keeper. Wonder what it would look like when he gets his sea legs under him. Great hustle on the boards.

    Pietrus – felt bad for him….out of sync all night. I'm sure his conditioning must be off, especially being a main guy for the past three games.

    However, enjoying how this team has come together. Hope they keep it up!

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