The Celtics took care of business Friday night and ran away with a convincing win over Cleveland following a dominant start to the second half.
Boston already owned a 10-point advantage at the break but blew the game open at the start of the third quarter with a 9-2 run out of the locker room. The C’s never lost control of the game from that point on.
Kyrie Irving, who was as hot as ever against his former team, played a key role in igniting Boston’s game-changing run. He tossed an alley-oop to Aron Baynes for a dunk 11 seconds into the third quarter, and then he canned a 3-pointer – his fourth of the night at that moment – 26 seconds later.
Baynes soon added in another two points off of a tip-in, and Marcus Morris closed out the run with two free throws. The two freebies from Morris provided the C’s with their largest lead of the night at that time, at 71-54, and that lead eventually swelled to as many as 33 points to account for the final margin.
You know you’re feeling it when you pull up from the logo. That’s exactly what Kyrie Irving did Friday night in transition against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The dude was hot.
Irving drained the 30-footer from just outside the Lucky logo at midcourt, and that shot was emblematic of his night overall. Everything was falling. The All-Star point guard was unstoppable, scoring a game-high 29 points in only 27 minutes of action. He made 11 of his 15 shot attempts and five of his seven 3-pointer on the night.
Irving was mostly dialed into letting his own shot fly, but he also managed to assist on four more of Boston’s buckets. He added in four rebounds to round out his box score line.
Not surprisingly, the Celtics outscored Cleveland by a whopping 26 points during Irving’s 27 minutes of action. We’ll do the math for you: that’s nearly a point per minute.
And that’s pretty darn good.
Box Score Nuggets
- Kyrie Irving scored a game-high 29 points.
- Marcus Smart recorded game highs of seven assists and three steals, while also scoring 12 points.
- Boston led by as many as 33 points in the game.
- The Celtics made 53.3 percent of their field goals and 54.8 percent of their 3-pointers.
- Jordan Clarkson led Cleveland with 16 points.
- Boston outscored Cleveland 54-32 in the paint.
- Gordon Hayward came off the bench to score 14 points on 6-for-9 shooting.
- Each of Boston's 13 payers who checked into the game scored at least three points.
- P.J. Dozier scored seven points in six minutes in his NBA debut.
- The Celtics limited Cleveland to just 39.0 percent shooting from the field.
- Tristan Thompson was the only player in the game who logged a double-double, with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Quote of the Night
He did have a really good week of practice, and you could kind of see that there’s gonna be some good days ahead.
Brad Stevens on Gordon Hayward.