Celtics Edge Cavs at The Q

Ramon Sessions came off the bench to net 13 points in Tuesday's loss at The Q.
David Liam Kyle
NBAE.Getty Images
The Q and the Garden in Boston provide two of the best homecourt advantages in the NBA – except when the Cavs and the Celtics face each other.

In the teams’ three meetings this season, the road team has won each time – with the Celtics squeaking by the Wine and Gold, 86-83, on Tuesday night in Cleveland.

After being intentionally fouled with 2.5 seconds to play, Ray Allen canned a pair of free throws to give Boston a three-point edge. After a Cavs timeout, Anthony Parker worked his way around a screen and had a good look, but his game-tying attempt drew front iron and Boston held on for the road win.

“I thought our guys really competed and played hard,” said Byron Scott. “Obviously, we didn’t make enough shots. Defensively, I thought we did some real good things. I loved the effort and as I told them after the game, we have to continue to play that hard if not harder.”

After overcoming a 16-point first-half deficit, the Cavaliers were neck-and-neck with Boston for the entire second stanza. There were five ties and six lead-changes in the fourth quarter alone.

The Wine and Gold took a one-point advantage with 1:21 to play when Kyrie Irving drained a pair of free throws to make it 81-80. But the Cavs point guard turned the ball over after rebounding a Ray Allen miss. Garnett grabbed the bad pass and fed ahead to Allen, who gave Boston the lead back with a dunk.

Both teams traded free throws before Parker’s three-point attempt fell short.

Irving led both teams with 24 points – going 8-for-14 from the floor, including 3-of-3 from beyond the arc and 5-of-5 from the stripe. This June’s top pick added four boards, three assists and a steal.

Ramon Sessions and Tristan Thompson each pitched in with 13 points apiece off the bench – with Thompson leading Cleveland with 10 rebounds, six off the offensive glass.

“Whenever I come into the game, my role is pretty simple: just come in and give them a spark,” said Thompson. “I try to do that every game and get us extra possessions on the offensive end, rebound and block shots. That’s my role on the team and that’s what I’m here to do.”

Omri Casspi rounded out the Cavaliers in double-figures with 10 points.

Every member of the Celtics starting lineup notched double-figures except Rajon Rondo – who didn’t score a single point but led both squads with 11 assists.

The Cavaliers came into Tuesday’s contest trailing the Celtics by just 1.5 games in the chase for the 8th playoff seed, but couldn’t gain any ground in the first game after the All-Star Break.

Cleveland lapped Boston on points in the paint (44-22) and on the break (13-6), but the Celtics tallied nine more assists and missed just a single free throw on the evening.

The beat goes on for the Cavs, who travel to the Big Apple for the second-half of a back-to-back against Jeremy Lin, Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks.

  • After missing the last 12 games with a low back strain, Anthony Parker returned to the starting lineup on Tuesday. He was 0-for-4 from the field and notched just a single point but did lead the squad with five assists.

  • Tuesday’s contest marks the end of the longest homestand in team history – and third-longest in NBA history. The last team to play nine or more consecutive games was the Vancouver Grizzlies in 1999-00. The Cavs, who last played on the road 22 days ago, finished the homestand at 4-5.

  • The Cavaliers came into Tuesday’s contest tied with Philly for allowing the fewest fastbreak points in the league – 9.5 per game. They allowed Boston just six points in transition.

  • After inking a 10-day contract on February 21, second-year guard Manny Harris saw his first NBA action of the season on Tuesday night. Unfortunately, his run lasted exactly six seconds.

  • Tristan has now registered double-doubles in his last two contests and has grabbed double-digit boards in three of his last four outings. Over his last five games, he’s averaging 5.4 offensive rebounds per contest. He even went 3-for-4 from the stripe on Tuesday night.

  • Kyrie Irving gave fans and coaches a good scare with 3:41 remaining in the first half. The rookie took a charge against Boston’s Paul Pierce and came down hard on his wrist. He got up holding his arm and was escorted to the locker room by trainer Max Benton. Luckily, he only suffered an elbow contusion and returned to score 19 of his 24 points in the second stanza.

  • Irving topped the 20-point plateau for the 15th time this season, easily leading all rookies. The next closest first-year player is Detroit’s Brandon Knight with seven.