Boston Celtics at Cleveland Cavs
When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Where: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland, Ohio
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
CLEVELAND – The Boston Celtics are rolling along with wins in four consecutive games with Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum leading the way. The tandem will shoot for a fifth consecutive triumph when they begin a three-game trip and a stretch with eight of 10 on the road by visiting the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight.
Walker, who needs to avoid looking ahead to what promises to be an emotional return to Charlotte on Thursday, averaged 32.3 points in the last three games and went 14-of-14 from the free-throw line in Saturday’s 104-102 triumph over the New York Knicks. “His ability to get to the line, you see when he draws contact, he draws contact,” Boston coach Brad Stevens told reporters of Walker. “… I mean he’s a tough guy. I said this yesterday; he takes hits, he makes foul shots, he’s available every day, and he got two or three of the biggest rebounds of the night for us. Running in transition he jumped up over everybody one time. So, I’d say he’s a tough guy. I’m glad he’s here.”
The Cavaliers are trying to avoid a third straight loss and didn’t have the energy to keep up with the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday in a 131-111 loss. Cleveland was outscored 41-25 in the fourth quarter and had no answer for reigning Rookie of the Year Luka Doncic on the perimeter.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBCS Boston, FS Ohio (Cleveland)
ABOUT THE CELTICS (4-1): Boston is also benefitting from the continued improvement of small forward Gordon Hayward, who is averaging 16.6 points and shooting 55.6 percent from beyond the arc as he inches closer to the form he showed prior to a devasting leg injury in the opener of the 2017-18 season. Hayward collected 13 points, nine rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals in Saturday’s triumph and is excited about the future of the team. “I think what stood out to me is just that we still have so much more room to get better,” Hayward told reporters. “I don’t think that we have played our best basketball, certainly haven’t played a full 48 minutes. We’ve had stretches, halves that we’ve done really well. But we’ve also had halves where we’ve been pretty bad. … We’re finding ways to win which is good, but we still have a lot of room to improve, a lot of areas that we can get better.”
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (2-4): Cleveland is excited about its young backcourt combination of rookie Darius Garland and second-year star Collin Sexton but the two are both 6-1 and struggled to handle the size of the larger Doncic on Sunday. Where the Cavaliers can do some damage is up front with veterans Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson, who each have recorded five double-doubles in six games. Love had his streak of five double-doubles to begin the season come to an end on Sunday but finished with a team-high 29 points and eight rebounds in 35 minutes.
- Celtics C Enes Kanter (knee) sat out the last four games and remains day-to-day while SG Jaylen Brown (illness) missed Friday’s win and is also day-to-day.
- Cleveland PG Matthew Dellavedova (personal) sat out the last two games and is questionable.
- Boston swept the four-game series last season, winning by an average of 17.5 points.
PREDICTION: Celtics 103, Cavaliers 91