Celtics Get Back to the Win Column After 116-106 Victory Over Cleveland
Boston, MA– After a four game skid against some of the league's mid-tier talent, the Boston Celtics finally found their way back to the win column after a road game date with one of the league's cellar dwellers, the Cleveland Cavaliers. Boston was shorthanded in many of the games during their losing streak, as players like Gordon Hayward, Al Horford, and Aron Baynes were recovering from injuries, and this continued as Kyrie Irving rested against Cleveland last night.
Fortunately, the Cavaliers are depleted enough that Boston still managed to thrive without Irving as they kept things close with Cleveland and brought a tie into the fourth quarter before finally pulling away with a flurry of shots and coming away with a victory in Cleveland by a score of 116-106.
Impressively, Boston held their own on a team effort level by outperforming Cleveland in rebounds (49 to 48), turnovers (15 to 10), and three point percentage (40 percent to just over 32 percent), and it showed that the team could gel when needed.
Without Kyrie, Brad Stevens slotted in Terry Rozier at point guard and bumped Marcus Smart to the shooting guard role, and the latter led the way in scoring with 21 points for Boston. Pulling even with the team's lead in points was Jayson Tatum, who also netted 21 points while leading the team in three pointers made, with three, and in minutes played, at 34 minutes.
Horford also made an impact with 19 points and eight rebounds on limited playing time, while Hayward added 15 from the bench. It's reassuring to see Boston's injured core continue to play well during their recoveries, and it bodes well that they can be at full strength for the post-season, which is almost guaranteed to begin with a series against the Indiana Pacers (it's just a matter of who gets home court advantage now).
At 44-31, the Celtics have just seven games remaining in the regular season, and they next play on Friday night at home against the Pacers in a matchup that will further clarify the Eastern Conference playoff picture.