Hughes, Cavs End Road Slate on Positive Note
Cleveland 93, Boston 88
BOSTON, April 17 (Ticker) -- With Larry Hughes completely back, the Cleveland Cavaliers may be that much more dangerous in the postseason.
Hughes had 21 points, six assists and five steals to lead the Cavaliers to a 93-88 victory over the Boston Celtics.
Hughes scored 26 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in Thursday's win over New York and was nearly as good in this one. He collected 13 points in the first half to help Cleveland stay within 49-48 and had two baskets and four assists in a 27-6 burst to start the third quarter.
"Any time that you can get a guy multiple touches it's good," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. "Especially in (Hughes') situation because he's a guy that handles the ball a lot when Lebron is out of the game."
The Cavaliers did a get a scare midway through the first quarter when Hughes left the game with a right hand contusion. Preliminary X-rays were negative and he returned 3:48 into the second quarter.
"It hurt," said Hughes, whose 45-game absence earlier this season was due to a finger injury on his right hand. "That initial sting and with me having the history of it you have to make sure everything is good."
Hughes found Ronald Murray for a basket to end the run and give the Cavaliers a 75-55 advantage with 4:52 to go in the period.
Playing again without All-Star guard Paul Pierce, the Celtics, who entered the fourth quarter down 19, used a late 8-0 burst to get within 91-88 in the final minute. But rookie Gerald Green missed a jumper and Donyell Marshall buried a pair of free throws on the other end to finish the scoring.
"That is a good thing," said Celtics rookie forward Ryan Gomes of the comeback with a very young lineup. "But you still want to win at the end of the day. Even though it didn't happen, we're still happy that we showed we could play in that tough environment."
Gomes finished with 13 points and seven rebounds.
Anderson Varejao scored 14 points and four others finished in double figures for Cleveland, which ends the regular season Wednesday against Atlanta at home.
"Not a lot of guys in their career win 50 games," said Hughes of Cleveland's opportunity to reach that plateau Wednesday. "It's a new team and a new staff from top to bottom. To come in and put up 50 wins in a season I think that's a great confidence booster for the time that everyone is here."
The Cavaliers last reached the 50-win mark in 1992-93, when they finished with a 54-28 record.
Tony Allen scored 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting to pace Boston, which has lost five straight.