Celtics fall flat in fourth, lose to Cavs, 88-87

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Celtics fall flat in fourth, lose to Cavs, 88-87

BOSTON The Boston Celtics fall back to below-average status following Sunday's 88-87 loss to Cleveland, a game in which the C's had under control for most of the night.

Boston (9-10) seemingly had the game wrapped up with a few minutes remaining, only for the scrappy Cavaliers to cut into Boston's lead and rally for the win.

And leading the comeback was Anderson Varejao, who had 18 points and nine rebounds.

Following a slew of Cleveland misses in the game's closing seconds, Varejao was able to force a Brandon Bass rebound out of his hands, and later gain control of it and call a time-out.

That set up a game-winning basket by Kyrie Irving with 2.6 seconds to play.

After a Celtics time-out, Paul Pierce's potential game-winning jumper was off the mark as time expired.

It was a disappointing finish to what had been a pretty solid performance most of the night.

But the C's allowed Cleveland to hang around too long.

Big mistake, Green Team.

Prior to the end-of-game collapse by the Celtics, it had been a great return to the lineup for the C's and Ray Allen.

Look no further than his first 10 points coming in just nine minutes of playing time.

As well as Allen and the Big Three played, the Celtics once again got strong play from their role players.

Chris Wilcox, in his third game back after missing the previous six with a left calf injury, continues to give the C's a strong inside presence defensively and on the boards while coming off the bench.

In addition to his four points, he also grabbed six rebounds. And seldom-used Sasha Pavlovic had four points, including a highlight-worthy dunk along the baseline that got a good rise out of Celtics Nation.

For the Cavaliers, Irving, the No. 1 overall pick in last June's NBA draft, lived up to the hype while scoring a game-high 23 points (he made his first six shots before finally missing) along with six assists and four rebounds.

Eduardo Rodriguez strong, Red Sox down Mariners for 5th straight win

Eduardo Rodriguez strong, Red Sox down Mariners for 5th straight win

BOSTON (AP)  Eduardo Rodriguez pitched six scoreless innings and the Boston Red Sox took advantage of a sloppy performance by the Seattle Mariners to earn their season-high fifth straight win, 3-0 on Friday night.

It was the third consecutive win for Rodriguez (4-1), who went six innings, gave up just five hits and struck out four while throwing a season-high 112 pitches. Craig Kimbrel earned his 13th save.

Rodriguez has pitched at least six innings in his last seven starts, going 4-0 in that span.

The only run support Rodriguez needed came in the second inning, when Hanley Ramirez scored on Josh Rutledge's RBI groundout. Boston added two more runs in the sixth, scoring on a wild pitch and passed ball.

Yovani Gallardo (2-5) took the loss. He lasted 5 1/3 innings, gave up seven hits and was responsible for all three of Boston's runs. Seattle has won just one of its last seven.

Meanwhile, Boston gave Rodriguez got lots of help from his defense. Jackie Bradley Jr. had a pair of nice plays, getting an outfield assist in the second and running down another ball on the warning track in the sixth.

In addition to the pitching miscues, the Mariners had all kinds of issues in the wet conditions, committing two fielding errors.

The Red Sox left 11 runners on base, leaving the door open for the Mariners to get back in the game. But Seattle couldn't capitalize, going 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position. The Mariners also left seven runners stranded.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: LHP James Paxton (strained left forearm) was slated to make a rehab start Friday night in Double-A Arkansas. He has been on the 10-day disabled list since May 5. He could be activated for a start at the end of the month against Colorado.

Red Sox: Infielder Marco Hernandez will be out the remainder of the season after undergoing stabilization surgery on his left shoulder on Friday. Hernandez was placed on the disabled list May 4 with a left shoulder misalignment. The 24-year-old hit .276 with two RBI in 21 games. ... A night after he left the game with left knee pain, 2B Dustin Pedroia was held out Friday for what manager John Farrell said was "precautionary reasons" because of the wet playing surface.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Rob Whalen (0-2, 4.09 ERA in Triple-A Tacoma) will be making his major league start since last season with Atlanta. He will be 12th different starting pitcher the Mariners have used this season.

Red Sox: LHP Brian Johnson (1-0, 7.20 ERA) will be making his second major league start this year and third of his career.

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