BOSTON - The Boston Celtics lost a close one to the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday night at TD Garden 97-91. The Celtics were without their two leaders; Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. Garnett is still out with an ankle inflammation, and Pierce has a sore left ankle.
Chris Wilcox, Brandon Bass, Jeff Green, Courtney Lee, and Avery Bradley started for Boston. Kyrie Irving, Wayne Ellington, Alonzo Gee, Tristan Thompson, and Tyler Zeller started for Cleveland.
In the first quarter, Thompson led the way for Cleveland. He scored nine points. Ellington also chipped in five points. For Boston, it was Shavlik Randolph and Bass, who both scored six points each in the quarter. Boston led 28-26 at the end of the quarter.
Thompson continued to score for Cleveland. He had 12 points in the second quarter, and 21 total in the first half. Randolph had seven points for Boston, while Green had six. The game was tied 52-52 at the end of the first half.
The third quarter was all Cleveland. They outscored Boston 22-16, with a collaboration of players scoring. Green and Bass scored five and four points respectively for Boston.
In the fourth quarter, the game just got away from Boston. The entire quarter was dead even, and at the end both teams had scored 23 points each in the quarter.
Thompson had a huge game for Cleveland, scoring a game high 29 points and grabbing a game high 17 rebounds. Gee scoring 16 points and 10 rebounds. Ellington and Irving scored 12 and 11 points respectively.
Green was the high man for Boston, scoring 23 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Bass played the most minutes for Boston (39:29) and scored 14 points. Bradley scored 10 points, but had no rebounds and just three assists. The other two starters, Wilcox and Lee, combined for just four points in the loss. Randolph scored a career-high 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds. He played 13 minutes, which is the longest he's played in his young career thus far.
Cleveland improves to 23-52, but are 11 games back of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference playoff standings with just six games left.
Boston has clinched a playoff berth, but they fall to 39-37, and are just two and a half games ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks, and still two and a half games behind the Atlanta Hawks for the sixth seed.
Boston will stay at home, and face the Washington Wizards Sunday, April 7th, at TD Garden.
Tonight: Celtics Post Game Show - immediately following the game