Thompson, Cavaliers Bounce Boston
Wrap-Up – On Friday night in Boston, from the opening tip through the final buzzer, Tristan Thompson played like a man who wasn’t going to let the losing streak continue.
Thompson has been the Cavaliers most vocal leader of late – and he put his money where he mouth is, setting a career-high in points (29) and rebounds (17) and, more importantly, setting the tone as the shorthanded Cavaliers topped an equally-shorthanded Celtics, 97-91, on Friday night in Boston.
The game was tied at halftime, but the Cavaliers stifled Boston in the third quarter, closing the period on a 19-6 run. The Celtics – playing without Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce – made a fourth-quarter charge, but Kyrie Irving’s pull-up jumper and, fittingly, Tristan’s two free throws iced the win the closing moments.
Alonzo Gee also notched a double-double – all while checking Boston’s Jeff Green. Gee finished 8-of-17 from the floor for 16 points and 10 boards, adding a steal and a blocked shot. Wayne Ellington added a dozen points and Kyrie Irving added 11 points, struggling on 4-for-20 shooting. Irving did lead Cleveland with eight assists and all starters with two blocks.
Turning Point – The Cavs have had some rough third quarters during their 10-game skein, and when Boston came out of intermission on a 10-3 run, it looked like that might be the case again. But Alonzo Gee’s jumper followed by a Kyrie three-pointer ignited a 25-6 run that stretched into the fourth quarter and extended Cleveland’s lead to two touchdowns.
Game Ball – Tristan Thompson – The second-year forward from Texas was a man-possessed on Friday night in Boston – notching his 2th double-double of the season, going 10-of-17 from the floor and snagging seven of his 17 boards off the offensive glass. And perhaps the most impressive number, especially considering the scrutiny he’s faced, Tristan was a perfect 9-for-9 from the free throw line.
By the Numbers – 58-42, 52-38 … Cavaliers’ advantage in rebounding and points in the paint in Friday’s win
Quotable – Coach Byron Scott, on the Cavaliers’ effort in Friday’s win over Boston …
“I thought we were in the game from start to finish. We came out with some aggressiveness. We played hard for 48 minutes.”
Up Next – The Cavaliers come home for a Sunday night meeting with the Magic. In the middle of the week, Cleveland plays their final back-to-back of the season against the Pistons and Pacers before welcoming the Knicks next Friday.