Celtics bend but don't break, beat Cavs, 93-90

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Celtics bend but don't break, beat Cavs, 93-90

CLEVELAND The Boston Celtics (10-10) evened the score - and their overall record - with a 93-90 win over Cleveland on Tuesday.

Despite a comfortable double-digit lead for most of the second half, the C's found themselves in a down-to-the-wire battle.

Sounds familiar?

It should.

That's exactly how things played out on Sunday when the Cavs (8-12) closed out their game in Boston with a 12-0 run to defeat the C's, 88-87.

But the C's, with the knowledge of Sunday's loss still fresh in their minds, refused to allow a repeat of Sunday's late-game slumber.

How similar were the two games?

At 3:42 to play on Sunday, the C's led by 7.

On Tuesday, the Celtics' lead with 3:42 remaining was seven points.

But in the end, a clutch jumper by Kevin Garnett, big free throws by Paul Pierce and a blocked shot by Jermaine O'Neal were just a few of the plays Boston needed to make in order to get the win.

Keeping the Cavaliers in the game with his hustle was Anderson Varejao, who became the first player to post a 20-point, 20-rebound night against the C's this season.

Pierce led the C's with 20 points and six assists.

The Celtics had a solid first quarter which ended with them leading 28-24. Paul Pierce continues to shoot the ball well, tallying nine points in the quarter on 4-for-6 shooting. Boston also got a strong start from Mickael Pietrus, who nailed a pair of 3s in four minutes of playing time.

Boston led the entire second quarter, and closed out the half with a 14-6 run to lead 51-39 at the half which was their largest lead in the half.

Ray Allen may be known for his shooting, but he put on a surprisingly effective passing clinic on Tuesday.

Allen was scoreless at the half, but racked up five assists which equaled his season high. He finished with 12 points and a season-high eight assists.

Bradley steps up to lead Celtics to 117-87 blowout win over Magic

Bradley steps up to lead Celtics to 117-87 blowout win over Magic

It was one of Tacoma, Washington’s finest carrying the scoring load most of Wednesday night for the Boston Celtics. 
 
But it wasn’t the Celtics’ leading scorer, Isaiah Thomas. 
 
It was his backcourt mate and fellow Tacoma, Wash. native Avery Bradley picking up the slack in Thomas’ absence as Boston pulled away in the second half for a 117-87 blowout win over the Orlando Magic. 
 
Wednesday’s victory was Boston’s first in Orlando since Nov. 8, 2013. 
 
Bradley led seven double-figure scorers for Boston (13-9), with a team-high 23 points.
 
Thomas missed his first game of the season with a right groin injury that will sideline him for a yet-to-be-determined period of time. 
 
The 5-foot-9 guard ranks among the NBA’s leaders in scoring (26.0) in addition to leading the Celtics in assists (6.2) per game. 
 
But Bradley was up to the challenge of filling the void left by Thomas, which isn’t all that surprising when you consider the game was away from the TD Garden. 
 
Bradley has been good this year, but has really stood out in road games where he has averaged 19.0 points on 51.4 percent shooting from the field compared to 15.8 points on 41.3 percent shooting at the TD Garden. 
 
The first half was a tightly contested game with neither team leading by more than eight points. 
 
After Orlando scored the first basket of the third quarter, the Celtics went on a furious 18-2 run to lead 67-54 which had five different scorers for Boston that spoke volumes about the balanced offensive attack the Celtics came with to make up for Thomas’ absence. 
 
Boston’s defense picked up its intensity in the second half, but just as important was the renewed emphasis on ball movement that was simple, crisp and highly effective. 
 
And it came against an Orlando team that came in having won four of its last five games – all on the road – which included beating the always-challenging San Antonio Spurs on their home floor. 
 
But as important as it was for Bradley to help fill the enormous scoring void that exists without Thomas, Boston also needed a strong game from their bench. 
 
That’s exactly what they got, and it wasn’t just one or two guys, either. 
 
Jaylen Brown had arguably the best game of his still-young NBA career coming off the Celtics bench, finishing with 13 points which included a powerful, rim-rattling dunk over Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic
 
Boston also got great play out of Terry Rozier (career-high 16 points, five rebounds) who saw a few more minutes than usual because of Thomas’ injury. 
 
Not only was the victory important to pad the win total, but it also provides a nice boost of confidence for the Celtics as they hit what will be arguably the most difficult stretch of the season in terms of quality opponents. 
 
The Celtics have 12 games remaining this month, with the teams having a combined record of 152-105, or a winning percentage of .591.

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu are back together.

The two Cuban natives were teammates in 2012 when they played for Cienfuegos in Cuba, and now they'll be in the same dugout once again — this time in Chicago.

"To get the opportunity to play with him right now in the United States, it's an honor for me," Moncada said through a translator on a conference call Wednesday. "I'm thrilled with that."

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