Cavs Can't Complete Comeback

Antawn Jamison netted 12 points in Tuesday's tough loss to Boston.
David Liam Kyle
NBAE.Getty Images
Unlike most young teams, the Cavaliers have had no trouble with the fourth quarter. It’s the first three that’s been giving them fits.

For the third time in their last three contests, the Wine and Gold staged a dramatic late-game rally. Unfortunately, they’ve dropped two of them – both at home.

The Cavaliers trailed by 18 points heading into the final period, but came out with a 13-2 run to start the fourth, cutting Boston’s lead to just a deuce with 1:18 to play. But Kevin Garnett canned a 13-footer and Paul Pierce drained a pair of free throws as Boston held on to hand Cleveland the tough 93-90 loss on Tuesday at The Q.

“With so many guys down and to still compete the way that we competed, to get that game to two points, I thought was great,” said Coach Byron Scott. “I told them I was very proud of the way they played, how hard they played.”

While much of the squad saved their best for last, Anderson Varejao brought it for all four quarters. The Wild Thing has been playing at an All-Star level all year, but outdid himself on Tuesday, netting 20 points and a career-high 20 boards – 10 off the offensive glass.

“It’s good to have a game like that, but we didn’t take care of home court,” said Varejao. “We have to win more games at home. It was a tough loss.”

Kyrie Irving also added to the late-game dramatics, finishing with 21 points – 13 of which he scored in the final period. The rookie point guard added six helpers and committed just a pair of turnovers in 37 minutes of action.

Antawn Jamison added a dozen points and Alonzo Gee came off the bench to round out the Cavaliers in double-figures with 11, adding a game-high four steals. Ramon Sessions led both clubs with 10 assists.

The Celtics led by as many as 22 on Tuesday and held the Cavaliers to just 34 points in the second and third quarters combined. But the Wine and Gold outscored the Celts, 32-17, in the fourth. But it wasn’t enough, with Boston coming away with the home-and-home split.

The Cavaliers travel to the Sunshine State for the first of a weekend back-to-back. On Friday night, they face off against the Magic in Orlando before returning to The Q for a Saturday night matchup with the World Champion Dallas Mavericks.

  • Anderson set career highs in total rebounds (20) and offensive boards (10). His 20 points – on 10-for-17 shooting – was a season-high. His double-double was his 10th of the season and 52nd of his career. The Wild Thing out-rebounded Boston’s entire starting lineup.

  • The last Cavalier to turn in a 20-20 performance was Carlos Boozer, who notched 23 points and 20 boards against the Mavericks in March of 2003.

  • With his 10 offensive rebounds, Anderson passed Phil Hubbard and moved into sixth place all-time in Cavs history in offensive rebounds with 1,057.

  • Tristan Thompson left game with 10:26 remaining in the second quarter after tweaking the left ankle he sprained against Atlanta on Jan. 21. He was re-taped and expected to return, but was held out in the second half.

  • One of the Cavaliers true fans, Browns cornerback Joe Haden was in the house for Tuesday’s affair.

  • The Cavaliers played their second straight game without guard Daniel Gibson – out with a soft tissue infection in his neck. Anthony Parker, who left Sunday’s game in Boston with a strained low back, was also on the shelf for Tuesday’s affair.

  • The backcourt injuries paved the way for rookie Mychel Thompson to get his first career start. Thompson canned a pair of jumpers in his first real action of the season on Sunday and tallied eight points – going 2-for-4 from long-distance – and four assists on Tuesday. Thompson added a rebound, a steal and a fantastic third-quarter block of a three-point attempt by Mickael Pietrus.

  • Ramon Sessions netted a season-high in assists with 10. He was also 3-of-5 from the floor and added five boards.

  • Kyrie Irving is averaging 15.3 points in the fourth quarter of his last three games.