New-Look Cavs Rally Past Celtics in Opener

Wine & Gold's Late Run Spoils Irving's Return
NBA Photos

Wrap-Up -- Tuesday night’s contest was supposed to be a celebration of the new NBA season and the new-look Cavaliers’ home opener. And although the Wine & Gold held off Boston to notch their first win of the season, the night’s storyline was a somber one.

With 6:45 to play in the first quarter, Boston forward Gordon Hayward – in his first game as a Celtic – looped around the Cavs defense for a back-door alley-oop, but after getting tangled up mid-air Hayward came down awkwardly, fracturing his left ankle in one of the most gruesome NBA injuries in recent memory.

Both Celtics and Cavaliers players – along with everyone watching – sat in stunned silence as Hayward was placed on a stretcher and wheeled off the floor. Before he was wheeled off the floor, LeBron James offered as much encouragement and consolation as he could.

On the floor, James and Co. didn’t have their most efficient game – relinquishing an 18-point second half lead before rallying late to pull past Kyrie Irving and the Celtics, 102-99, on Tuesday night at The Q.

Beginning his 15th NBA season, LeBron led everyone with 29 points and 16 boards – going 12-of-19 from the floor, adding a team-high nine boards and a pair of blocked shots.

James led five players in double-figures, with Derrick Rose following up with 14 points in his Cavaliers’ debut, going 5-of-14 from the floor, including 1-of-3 from long-range. That one triple, which Rose splashed home at the third quarter buzzer, turned out to be a big one – giving Cleveland back the lead after Boston was in the process of closing the period on an 11-2 run.

The Cavaliers grabbed control of the game early in the second quarter – riding a double-digit lead into the third quarter. But behind Marcus Smart’s 12-point period, Boston chipped away at Cleveland’s lead.

Both squads went back and forth over the final 12 minutes, but after falling behind by four with 4:32 to play, the Wine & Gold had just a little more left in the tank and wrapped up the win in Kyrie Irving’s eagerly-anticipated return.

Irving, who was roundly booed during pregame introductions and every time he touched the ball, notched 10 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter – leading both teams with 10 assists. Sophomore Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 25 points.

For the Cavaliers, Kevin Love – getting his first start at center – picked up where he left off last season, doubling up with 15 points and 11 boards. Jae Crowder pitched in with 11 points and five boards in his Cleveland debut.

J.R. Smith rounded out the Cavaliers in double-figures – netting 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting in 22 minutes off the bench.

Neither team shot the ball particularly well from the floor and were even worse from long-range – with the Cavs going 5-of-22 from beyond the arc; Boston, 8-for-32.

The Cavaliers bested Boston on the boards, 49-46, but dominated the Celts in second-chance points – outscoring them, 16-2.

Turning Point -- There were several turning points in Tuesday’s contest, but the final twist is the only one that counts.

With Boston clinging to a three-point edge – 98-95 – with just over two minutes to play, the Cavaliers would proceed to close the contest on a 7-1 run, sparked by Kevin Love’s free throws with 1:43 to play and capped by his three-pointer that gave Cleveland a 102-98 edge with 46 seconds to play.

Kyrie split a pair of free throws and missed a pair of shots in the final 30 seconds and the Cavaliers took the first of three meetings between the East’s top two teams this season.

By the Numbers.824 … Cavaliers’ winning percentage (14-3) vs. the Celtics over their last 17 meetings, including the 2015 and 2017 Playoff matchups.

QuotableLeBron James, on squaring off against former teammate Kyrie Irving …

”Any time you win a championship with someone, you automatically think about the moments and the memories, especially with someone who was instrumental to what we were able to accomplish. But once the ball went up, it was kind of back to our regularly scheduled program.”

Up Next -- With the home opener out of the way, the Wine & Gold hit the road for the first time this season, traveling to Milwaukee for a matchup with the Greek Freak and the Bucks on Friday night. The Cavs return home to complete their first back-to-back of the 2017-18 campaign, welcoming the Magic to town on Saturday night. After a couple days off, Cleveland gets back to work next week – taking on the Bulls at The Q next Tuesday before a two-game roadie that sends them to Brooklyn the following night and New Orleans on Saturday.


Sounds of the Game


#CavsCeltics Postgame: Derrick Rose – October 17, 2017

Cavaliers guard Derrick Rose spoke with the media following Tuesday’s 102-99 victory over the Boston Celtics at Quicken Loans Arena.

Cavs vs. Celtics - October 17, 2017

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#CavsCeltics Postgame: Derrick Rose – October 17, 2017

Cavaliers guard Derrick Rose spoke with the media following Tuesday’s 102-99 victory over the Boston Celtics at Quicken Loans Arena.
Oct 18, 2017  |  00:50

#CavsCeltics Postgame: Dwyane Wade – October 17, 2017

Cavaliers guard Dwyane Wade spoke with the media following Tuesday’s 102-99 victory over the Boston Celtics at Quicken Loans Arena.
Oct 18, 2017  |  02:00

#CavsCeltics Postgame: Jae Crowder – October 17, 2017

Cavaliers forward Jae Crowder spoke with the media following Tuesday’s 102-99 victory over the Boston Celtics at Quicken Loans Arena.
Oct 18, 2017  |  02:55

#CavsCeltics Postgame: LeBron James – October 17, 2017

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media following Tuesday’s 102-99 victory over the Boston Celtics at Quicken Loans Arena.
Oct 17, 2017  |  06:49

#CavsCeltics Postgame: Coach Lue – October 17, 2017

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with the media following Tuesday’s 102-99 victory over the Boston Celtics at Quicken Loans Arena.
Oct 17, 2017  |  07:17

#CavsCeltics Postgame: Kevin Love – October 17, 2017

Cavaliers forward Kevin Love spoke with the media following Tuesday’s 102-99 victory over the Boston Celtics at Quicken Loans Arena.
Oct 17, 2017  |  02:48

LeBron James Talks Cavs Opening Night Win

Kristen Ledlow catches up with LeBron James following the Cavaliers opening night win over the Celtics.
Oct 17, 2017  |  01:48

Game Recap: Cavaliers 102, Celtics 99

LeBron James posts 29 points and 16 rebounds to go along with nine assists as the Cavaliers take down the Celtics 102-99.
Oct 17, 2017  |  03:42

KLove Hits Clutch Triple

Kevin Love nets the late triple to put the Wine & Gold ahead for good.
Oct 17, 2017  |  00:10

DWade Throws the High-Handoff to LBJ - October 17, 2017

Dwyane Wade finds LeBron James on the backcut for the alley-oop finish.
Oct 17, 2017  |  00:09

LBJ Finds Green for the Slam - October 17, 2017

LeBron James finds a cutting Jeff Green for the monster flush down the lane.
Oct 17, 2017  |  00:16

The Wingfoot: Opening Night Premiere

The Goodyear Wingfoot makes its regular season debut. Hear what the squad had to say about the new partnership.
Oct 17, 2017  |  01:12

Rose Beats the Third Quarter Buzzer - October 17, 2017

Derrick Rose gives the Wine & Gold the lead back heading into the fourth quarter with a buzzer-beating triple to close out the third.
Oct 17, 2017  |  00:23

LBJ Spins and Slams - October 17, 2017

LeBron James puts a nifty spin move on the Celtics and throws the hammer down.
Oct 17, 2017  |  00:24

Experience Intel: LeBron with the Rejection - October 17, 2017

Experience Intel with this unique angle of LeBron James' block on Jayson Tatum.
Oct 17, 2017  |  00:11

Experience Intel: J.R. Lobs TT - October 17, 2017

Experience Intel with this unique angle of J.R. Smith throwing the pretty lob pass to Tristan Thompson.
Oct 17, 2017  |  00:14

LBJ Skies for the Easy Layup - October 17, 2017

Derrick Rose throws the outlet pass to a streaking LeBron James who glides in for the easy two.
Oct 17, 2017  |  00:19

DWade Nets the Jumper Plus One - October 17, 2017

Dwyane Wade knocks down the jumper despite the contact and heads to the line for the three-point play opportunity.
Oct 17, 2017  |  00:11

TT with the Tough And-One - October 17, 2017

LeBron James finds Tristan Thompson in transition for the tough bucket, plus the foul.
Oct 17, 2017  |  00:07

Featured Highlight: LBJ with the Swat

Jayson Tatum thinks he has his first NBA bucket but LeBron James has other plans.
Oct 17, 2017  |  00:19

We Are in This Together

The Cavaliers, alongside members of the Cleveland community, discuss what truly matters outside the world of sports.
Oct 17, 2017  |  00:59

Cavaliers 2017 Open Video

Check out the new Cavaliers player intro that plays in-arena prior to the starting lineups being announced.
Oct 17, 2017  |  01:12

Experience the Open Video from In-Arena

From the court projection to the Humongotron, experience the Cavaliers open video for the 2017-18 season.
Oct 17, 2017  |  02:53

#CavsCeltics Shootaround: Dwyane Wade - October 17, 2017

Cavaliers guard Dwyane Wade spoke with the media following Tuesday's shootaround at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Oct 17, 2017  |  02:34

Practice: J.R. Smith - October 16, 2017

Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith spoke with the media following Monday's practice at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Oct 16, 2017  |  04:02

Practice: Derrick Rose - October 16, 2017

Cavaliers guard Derrick Rose spoke with the media following Monday's practice at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Oct 16, 2017  |  08:18

Practice: Coach Lue - October 16, 2017

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with media following Monday's practice at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Oct 16, 2017  |  07:25

Practice: Kevin Love – October 15, 2017

Cavaliers center Kevin Love spoke with the media following Sunday’s practice at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Oct 15, 2017  |  08:33

Practice: Coach Lue – October 15, 2017

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with the media following Sunday’s practice at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Oct 15, 2017  |  03:19

Practice: Jae Crowder – October 15, 2017

Cavaliers forward Jae Crowder spoke with the media following Sunday’s practice at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Oct 15, 2017  |  05:11