Boston Celtics 128, Cleveland Cavaliers 95
Where: TD Garden, Boston
BOSTON – Kyrie Irving scored 29 points, and six other Celtics scored in double figures as the Boston Celtics defeated the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers 128-95 on Friday night. Irving, the former Cavaliers guard who demanded a trade out of Cleveland before last season, haunted his old team to the tune of 11 of 15 from the field, including 5-for-7 from beyond the arc.
Irving also grabbed four rebounds and dished out four assists.
The Celtics were deadly from 3-point range, connecting on 17 of 31 attempts. They recorded season highs in points, margin of victory and field-goal percentage (53.3 percent).
Jordan Clarkson came off the bench to lead Cleveland with 16 points. Tristan Thompson recorded another double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds, his 11th of the season and fifth in his last six games.
Cleveland hung close early and trailed only 30-26 after the first quarter, but then Irving and the Celtics started to impose their wills on the undermanned Cavaliers.
Thompson gave the Cavs a 42-41 lead with a free throw with under seven minutes to go in the first half and the two teams would trade baskets until Irving’s 28-foot jumper put Boston up three, 50-47.
A 12-5 spurt gave Boston a 62-52 lead at intermission.
Boston came out sizzling in the third period when they outscored Cleveland 39-20. Aron Baynes connected on two jumpers and Marcus Morris hit five free throws as Boston opened up a 15-point lead at 74-59.
Gordon Hayward’s 26-foot, 3-point jumper put the Celtics up by 22 with 4:36 left in the third and Terry Rozier’s 3-pointer at the end of the third gave Boston a comfortable 101-72 advantage.
Morris finished with 15 points and Hayward 14 for the Celtics, who went to the foul line only 16 times but converted 13 of those attempts.
Cleveland went to the free-throw line 35 times and made 28 of those tries. But the Cavaliers connected on only 30 of 77 field-goal attempts (39 percent).
The Cavaliers made only 7 of 22 attempts from beyond the arc and also lost the rebound battle, 47-36.
–Field Level Media