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The Celtics didn’t bring any of their regular starters to Cleveland, and the Cavaliers probably wish they’d left Carsen Edwards at home too.
The rookie guard from Purdue unleashed a torrent of three-pointers in the third quarter – eight to be exact – that helped Boston pull away for the 118-95 win in the Wine & Gold’s final tune-up on Tuesday night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
After blowing out the Cavs on Sunday afternoon in Beantown, the Celtics sent a skeleton crew to Cleveland on Tuesday night, but they still managed to go nearly wire-to-wire for the win. The Wine & Gold scored the first six points of the night, but that would be as good as it would get.
Cleveland trailed by eight after one quarter and by 11 at intermission. And then Edwards caught fire.
In that third quarter, the 33rd pick in this past June’s draft went 8-of-11 from beyond the arc, netting 26 points in the period – and extending Boston’s edge to as many as 23 points. On the night, Edwards finished with a game-high 30 points, going 10-of-16 from the floor overall and 9-of-15 from deep.
Collin Sexton led the Cavaliers with 20 points, going 7-of-14 from the floor and 5-of-6 from the stripe, adding a pair of boards and pair of assists.
”I think we took a few steps back,” said Sexton. “We allowed too many open threes, open shots – we weren’t putting pressure on (shooters) like we normally do. We took a little step back, but we’ll be good; we have a week to get ready.”
Rookie Darius Garland wasn’t quite as dynamic as Edwards, but he did show off both his range and floor vision – finishing with 16 points on 6-for-13 shooting, canning a pair of three-pointers and dishing four assists in just over 24 minutes of work.
Jordan Clarkson was also effective off the bench, chipping in with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including going 4-for-6 from three-point range to go with a pair of assists.
Cedi Osman was the only other Cavalier in double-figures while Jarell Martin led the Wine & Gold with seven boards and three steals, getting a spot-start for Tristan Thompson, who sat out the preseason finale.
Aside from Edwards, the Celtics also got some excellent performances off the bench – including 24 points on 10-of-16 shooting from Tremont Waters and 16 points from Javonte Green.
”It’s nowhere near perfect right now,” said Coach John Beilein. “We have a lot of things and obstacles right now and we have to somehow use them as stepping stones.”
The Cavaliers wrap up the preseason with a 1-3 mark, dropping their final three contests after topping San Lorenzo in the opener. The regular season tips off in just over one week when Cleveland travels to take on the Magic in Orlando next Wednesday. They return to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse for the home opener one week from Saturday against the Indiana Pacers.