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Key Moment

The Cleveland Cavaliers were on the wrong end of another knockout punch Monday night, and this one was delivered by the Boston Celtics.

Boston led by 13 points at halftime and bumped that lead out to as many as 29 points by the end of the third quarter. And at that point, this one was over.

The Celtics wasted no time at the start of the second half in putting this game away. They scored the first six points of the third quarter in a span of just 85 seconds to build their lead up to 19 points. They ran away with a victory from there.

Jayson Tatum initiated the 6-0 spurt with a driving finger roll to open up the half. Boston then forced two misses out of the Cavs at the other end of the court before Gordon Hayward found Daniel Theis for a cutting dunk. Kemba Walker closed out the spurt with a pull-up jumper to make it 59-40 at the 10:35 mark of the period.

Boston threw it into cruise control from that moment on. Cleveland never threatened to make it a game, four of the Celtics’ five starters finished with less than 30 minutes of playing time, and the C’s coasted to a second straight blowout win, 110-88.

Key Player

It’s hard to argue with a plus-32.

That was Kemba Walker’s plus/minus rating Monday night after Boston’s 110-88 domination of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Walker played just 29 minutes during the contest, which means the Celtics outscored Cleveland by more than a point per minute while he was on the court. Walker’s 22 points and seven assists each led Boston, and he canned five 3-pointers all by himself – just two fewer than Cleveland’s entire team.

The best stretch of this game by Walker was referenced postgame by Brad Stevens. The coach commented on a stretch of the fourth quarter, during which Walker checked back in with 6:47 left on the clock while Cleveland was mounting a run. All the All-Star did was hit three 3-pointers in a span of 82 seconds to put the game away.

Stevens said he told the team, “If you want to be special, then model after Kemba. Because Kemba sits over there, thinks his night is done, gets put back in the game, drills three 3s and that’s it.”

That’s all she wrote. The Celtics dominated the Cavs Monday night, and Walker was a big reason why.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Kemba Walker made five 3-pointers, which was just two fewer than Cleveland's entire team.
  • Walker led the game with 22 points and seven assists.
  • Four of Cleveland's five starters finished with plus/minus ratings of minus-22 or worse.
  • Walker led the game with a plus/minus rating of plus-32.
  • Jaylen Brown scored 20 points, grabbed seven rebounds and blocked two shots.
  • Jayson Tatum logged his third double-double of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
  • Jordan Clarkson led Cleveland with 19 points.
  • Boston shot 57.7 percent from the field and 55.6 percent from 3-point range.
  • Cleveland shot 39.6 percent from the field and 22.6 percent from 3-point range.
  • Boston blocked nine shots, including three from Daniel Theis, two from Brown and two from Tatum.
  • In his return to the lineup, Gordon Hayward tallied 14 points, five rebounds, four assists and one steal.
  • Tatum and Tristan Thompson tied for the game high in rebounds with 11 apiece.
  • Cleveland's starting backcourt of Collin Sexton and Darius Garland combined to tally just 17 points and five assists.

Quote of the Night

I told them, 'If you want to be special, then model after Kemba.'

Brad Stevens on his postgame message to the Celtics

Key Player
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