Keys to the Game
Key Moment
Key Player
Box Score Nuggets
Quote of the Night

Key Moment

Al Horford and Marcus Smart put Boston on their backs Tuesday night, helping the Celtics to create enough separation from the Cleveland Cavaliers late in the fourth quarter to walk away with a comfortable win at Quicken Loans Arena.

The C's were barely hanging onto a 96-94 lead at the 6:26 mark of the final frame when the veteran Celtics tandem went off on a lethal run together. Horford and Smart combined to outscore the Cavs 15-6 over the next 4:20, giving Boston a commanding, 111-100 lead.

The pair took turns putting the ball through the net at the start of the run, beginning with a finger-roll layup by Smart. Horford then connected on a mid-range jumper, which was followed by jump-shot from Smart. Horford scored the following four points, two via free throws and another two via an alley-oop jam off of a dish from Jayson Tatum.

Cleveland still trailed by just six at that point, but Smart delivered a back-breaker at the 2:19 mark, as he connected on an and-one layup, before making his free-throw to put the C's up by nine. The tenacious guard returned to the line 13 seconds later, where he made two more freebies to give the C's an 11-point advantage. From there, Boston coasted to the finish line for a 116-106 win.

Key Player

Al Horford returned from a two-game absence Tuesday night looking as fresh as ever against the Cavaliers.

The veteran big man, who had been sidelined because of left knee soreness, delivered 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field, to go along with team highs of eight rebounds and five assists over 26:31 of action. On the defensive end, he also helped to limit Cavs leading scorer Kevin Love to a measly 3-of-13 shooting performance.

The most encouraging part of Horford's return was that his best effort came during the latest stage of the game. He dropped eight points alone during the fourth quarter, providing a much-needed spark to help the C's put an end to their four-game losing streak.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum led the C's in scoring and minutes played, tallying 21 points apiece during 33 minutes of action.
  • All of Tatum's scoring was accomplished during the first half, including 14 points during the opening quarter.
  • Cavs rookie point guard Collin Sexton led all scorers with 24 points.
  • Kevin Love logged a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds, but shot only 3-of-13 from the field.
  • No Celtic corralled more than eight rebounds, yet they won the battle on the boards, 46-36.
  • Love committed five turnovers, equalling the total number of turnovers committed by the entire Celtics starting rotation.
  • Smart's plus-18 was the highest net rating in the game, followed by Tatum's plus-17.
  • Boston nearly doubled Cleveland in second-chance points, 13-7.
  • The C's also nearly doubled the Cavs in fast-break points, 11-6.
  • Gordon Hayward (15 points) and Marcus Morris (14 points) combined to score 29 points off the bench.
  • Cleveland corralled only three offensive boards to Boston's 11.
  • Three Celtics snagged two or more steals, led by Smart's three-steal effort.

Quote of the Night

“Anytime you’re missing your lead dog, everybody else has to pull more weight. That’s a team that’s dangerous when that happens."

Cavs forward Larry Nance Jr. on the C's stepping up when Kyrie Irving is out.

Key Player

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