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


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.