Boston came into this game hurting. Losers of 3 straight, the Celtics surely looked at this game in Cleveland as a prime opportunity to get things back on track. Kyrie Irving had other ideas.
“Mr 4th Quarter” disguised himself as “Mr 1st Quarter” in this one as he came out looking to make a statement against the East’s All-Star starting PG Rajon Rondo. Irving was aggressive from the beginning and had 19 first quarter points to get the Cavaliers off to a great start and a 1st quarter lead.
After an offensive battle in the first half, the game turned into a defensive battle in the 2nd half, and the Cavaliers rose to the Celtics challenge hanging around with the Celtics. With Boston unable to separate themselves from the Cavaliers, they saw Cleveland take a late 4th quarter lead and down the stretch the Cavaliers made huge plays on both ends of the court to secure the win.
Kyrie was able to switch into Mr 4th Quarter mode as well as he made some enormous plays in the final stanza. He made a hustle steal off a Rondo attempt to save the ball and turned it into an uncontested layup, and he added two huge layups in the final minute to seal the victory.
Don’t overlook the night Tristan Thompson had either. The Celtics frontcourt may not be the feared defensive machine it once was, but Thompson was still active and able to chip in 21 points and 9 rebounds. But the night belonged to Irving who finished with 40 points and 5 assists. It’s really hard to use words to describe just how good Kyrie was in this game. He just continues to get better and to amaze and to give Cavaliers fans a glimpse of a brighter future.
Rondo paced the Celtics with his typical stat stuffing effort with 17 points, 13 rebounds, and 8 assists and Kevin Garnett added 16 points. Paul Pierce continued his shooting woes and despite hitting his first two shots finished 3-15 from the field for 12 points.
|Percentages||.381||.412||.864||Team Rebounds: 7|
|Leandro Barbosa||DNP – Coach’s Decision|
|Jason Collins||DNP – Coach’s Decision|
|Chris Wilcox||DNP – Coach’s Decision|
|Percentages||.451||.167||.864||Team Rebounds: 9|
|Kevin Jones||DNP – Coach’s Decision|
|C.J. Miles||DNP – Coach’s Decision|