Cleveland Cavs at Boston Celtics
When: 7:30 PM ET, Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Where: TD Garden, Boston
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
BOSTON – The Boston Celtics are rolling along with wins in their last four games as point guard Kyrie Irving continues to put up big numbers in several different statistical categories. Irving will not play, according to the team’s recent report, when they host his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Irving, who was quick to criticize and then apologize to his teammates when things weren’t going so well over a week ago, is saying and doing all the right things now and led the team to a 107-99 victory over the Miami Heat on Monday while collecting 26 points, 10 assists and eight steals. “I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, being aggressive,” Irving told reporters. “That’s really pretty much it. Trying to make plays for myself and my teammates. The ball is in my hands, and I’ve just got to make the right plays.” The Cavaliers are trying to make the right plays but keep coming up short and watched their latest losing streak reach four straight with a 104-88 home setback against the Bulls on Monday. Cleveland, which beat Boston in the Eastern Conference finals last season, owns the worst record in the NBA and lost 16 of its last 17.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FS Ohio (Cleveland), NBCS Boston
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (9-39): Cleveland was coming off a six-game road trip when it played on Monday and placed some of the blame for the struggles on fatigue. “They couldn’t really get it going,” coach Larry Drew told reporters of his team. “I don’t know how much I would attribute that to road fatigue, but clearly we didn’t have the zap. We didn’t have the energy. I really thought throughout the game that it would kick in, but we did not have it.” The Cavaliers did get another solid performance on Monday from rookie point guard Collin Sexton, who led the team with 18 points to reach double figures for the 12th straight game.
ABOUT THE CELTICS (29-18): Irving’s eight steals on Monday marked a career high and were the result of his increased commitment at that end of the floor, according to center Al Horford. “All year he’s been more committed to being better on the defensive end, and tonight he seemed to be at the right spots every time,” Horford told reporters of Irving. “And that’s a credit of him preparing for the game. I’m just happy to see him having an impact not only on offense but on defense, as well.” Irving is averaging 30.8 points on 60.3 percent shooting and 11 assists over the last four games.
1. Horford is shooting 65.9 percent from the floor over the last four games while averaging 17.8 points.
2. Cavaliers C Tristan Thompson (foot) sat out the last three games and is day-to-day.
3. Boston clobbered Cleveland 128-95 at home on Nov. 30 behind 29 points from Irving.