Cavaliers 97, Celtics 91

Celtics fall to Cavaliers

Courtney Lee battled with Tristan Thompson during the first quarter at TD Garden.
Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff
Courtney Lee battled with Tristan Thompson during the first quarter at TD Garden.

It was a tough night for the Celtics in dealing with officials, and they failed to corral the Cavaliers’ Tristan Thompson in the first half.

The Celtics twice blew nice leads in the beginning of the game, and Tristan Thompson made 21 points and 11 rebounds in 22 minutes.

They were also whistled for at least 23 personal fouls throughout the night.


Game recap:

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Final: Cavaliers 97-91: Once upon a time the Celtics led this game 62-55 and looked ready to pull away. The Cavaliers responded with a 27-6 run and the Celtics never really recovered. They got to within 4 points but didn't score more 2:39 of the fourth quarter and had nothing left. Jeff Green finished with 23 points but the Celtics shot just 32.5 percent in the second half (14-for-43).

Fourth quarter, 39.7, Cavaliers 95-89: Celtics are clinging to life here, need a basket and a stop to make it interesting. They are shooting just 40.2 percent.

Fourth quarter, 3:18, Cavaliers 91-83: The Celtics haven't scored in more than two minutes while the Cavaliers have tallied 4. It's been a tough night for the Celtics in dealing with officials. They have been whistled for 23 personal fouls.

Fourth quarter, 5:44, Cavaliers 87-83: Just like that, the Celtics motivate and come back with a 15-5 run to make it interesting. They have hit five of their past eight shots and Jason Terry has hit a couple of 3-pointers. Jeff Green has 17 points for Boston and Shavlik Randolph scored a career-high 16 before fouling out.


Fourth quarter, 9:19, Cavaliers 82-68: It's ugly here at the Garden. The Celtics are 6-for-27 shooting in the second half and haven't scored in the quarter, going 0-for-5. Cleveland is playing like it wants desperately to end its 10-game losing streak and Kyrie Irving only has 9 points. The Cavaliers are being the Celtics up with contributions from many sources.

Charles Krupa/Associated Press
Jeff Green tried to get his shot off as he was pressured by Tristan Thompson (right).

End of third quarter, Cavaliers 74-68: The Cavaliers end the quarter on a 19-6 run as the Celtics missed 16 of 22 shots in the quarter. Jordan Crawford is 1-for-10 shooting with 3 points. Tristan Thompson has 25 points and 13 rebounds for Cleveland.

Third quarter, 1:56, Cavaliers 70-65: Cleveland is on a 15-3 run because Kyrie Irving has decided to start scoring and the Celtics can't stop Cleveland in transition. The Celtics are 5-for-16 shooting in the quarter and Jeff Green already has four fouls. Shavlik Randolph just picked up his fifth.

Third quarter, 8:07, Celtics 62-55: The Celtics are on a 5-0 run thanks to a 3-pointer from Avery Bradley, who has struggled from the field tonight. Jeff Green has saved the Celtics with 15 points on 6-for-9 shooting with six rebounds. Brandon Bass has 12 points. Tristan Thompson has 21 points but has yet to score in the second half.

Halftime, Tied at 52: The Celtics have twice blown nice leads here, unable to corral Tristan Thompson, who has 21 points and 11 rebounds in 22 minutes. Most of those scores have been layups as the centerless Celtics struggle once again with a big man. Shavlik Randolph has 13 points in eight minutes but also has three fouls. Jeff Green and Brandon Bass also have 10 points.


Second quarter, 3:01, Celtics 46-44: The Celtics have coughed up a 37-29 lead because they cannot stop Tristan Thompson, who has 19 points and nine rebounds in 19 minutes, scoring on everything around the basket. The Celtics are led by Shavlik Randolph's 13 points but the Cleveland run came the moment he checked out of the game.

Second quarter, 8:50, Celtics 37-31: It's the Shavlik Randolph-Jordan Crawford Show so far tonight. Randolph has 13 points, a career best, in eight minutes while Crawford has four assists in seven minutes. The Celtics continue to commit needless fouls but they are playing with better energy than the first quarter.

End of first quarter, Celtics 28-26: The Celtics are 2 of 8 from the free throw line, which typified a strange quarter in which Cleveland led by as many as 8 points. The Celtics made 13 of 21 shots but still found themselves in major foul trouble with Avery Bradley and Jeff Green each with two. Brandon Bass and Shavlik Randolph each have 6 points for the Celtics.

First quarter, 5:44, Cavaliers 17-14: The Cavaliers are playing with more consistency so far, hitting 53.8 percent from the field and getting buckets from all five starters. Kyrie Irving has assisted on four of Cleveland's seven baskets. The Celtics are 6-for-10 shooting so far.

First quarter, 7:17, Celtics 14-11: Jeff Green just picked up his second foul, which could be a big factor. Terrence Williams is checking in to replace him. Tristan Thompson already has 7 points for Cleveland while Kyrie Irving has attempted one shot. No a good sign for the Celtics because Irving will get going soon.