Celtics Top Cavs at The Q
Wrap-Up – On Saturday night, the Cavaliers put together one of their sharpest fourth quarters of the season. Unfortunately, it came on the heels of the game’s first three quarters in which Boston had built a 31-point lead. Cleveland outscored the Celtics, 41-22, in that final period, but it was too little, too late as the Celtics swept the season over the Wine and Gold – handing them the 111-99 loss at The Q.
Cleveland featured seven players in double-figures, led by the guard trio of Dion Waiters, Kyrie Irving and Jarrett Jack – who finished with 15 points apiece. Jack was the most efficient of the three – going 6-for-14 from the floor, adding a team-high six assists, three boards and a steal without committing a single turnover in 33 minutes off the bench. Tristan Thompson tallied his 35th double-double of the year with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Tyler Zeller was solid off the bench, netting 12 points and seven boards. Alonzo Gee finished with 11 points and Matthew Dellavedova pitched in with 10.
Boston’s Kelly Olynyk scored 20 of his 25 points in the first half, doubling up with a game- and career-high 12 boards. Avery Bradley added 25 points of his own and Phil Pressey led both squads with a career-high 13 assists.
Turning Point – The Celtics jumped on the Cavs early and took an 18-point edge into intermission, but the game really got away from Cleveland in the third quarter. In the third, the Cavs shot just 30 percent from the floor, missed all six three-point attempts and saw Boston extend its lead to 31 points. In the fourth, the Wine and Gold shot 67 percent from the field, had 11 assists on 16 makes and outscored the Celtics in the paint, 24-10. But by then, Boston had a big enough advantage to weather the rally.
Game Ball – Alonzo Gee – Starting his second straight game in place of Luol Deng, Gee was quiet through the first three periods – although he did throw down two of the season’s nastiest dunks over the course of those quarters. In the fourth, Gee – the consummate professional – notched seven of his 11 points, adding all seven of his boards, all three assists and a steal to key Cleveland’s rally.
By the Numbers – 13.6, 3.5, 4.6 … Jarrett Jack’s scoring, rebounding and assist averages over his last 14 games.
Quotable – Spencer Hawes, on the Cavaliers’ offense affecting their defense …
”In the last two games, the way we moved the ball, or haven’t moved the ball, I think was really affecting us on both ends of the floor. Obviously it’s cyclical, but what I’ve found a lot of times is the ball isn’t whipping around when everybody doesn’t have that good feeling on offense. Often that can dictate the defensive intensity as well. I think that’s one of the factors we’re going through.”
Up Next – The Cavaliers wrap up the 2013-14 season this Wednesday night when they welcome the Brooklyn Nets to The Q on Fan Appreciation Night. The Wine and Gold will look to close out the campaign with a 19 wins at home, which would be a five-game improvement over last year.