Celtics 103, Cavaliers 86

Celtics have their way with Cavaliers

Brandon Bass was all smiles after hitting his first career 3-pointer to cap off the third quarter.
Matthew J. Lee/globe Staff
Brandon Bass was all smiles after hitting his first career 3-pointer to cap off the third quarter.

The JumboTron lit up, and the clip from disco-era “American Bandstand” started to roll.

It was Gino Time once again at TD Garden Friday. And Celtics fans were glad to boogie down.

But Brad Stevens seemed pretty clueless about the tradition at Celtics home games, one that typically featured Kevin Garnett on the sideline, dancing and singing along.


When asked about Gino Time after his team had finished off the Cavaliers, 103-86, the rookie coach offered only a blank stare before apologizing.

Get Breaking Sports Alerts in your inbox:
Be the first to know the latest sports news as it happens.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

He was told the clip only rolls when the Celtics have the game out of reach, which they did in their most lopsided victory of the season.

“Really? Nobody told me that,” Stevens said. “Maybe nobody thought we’d have a game out of reach.”

Maybe. The Celtics are rebuilding, but their first season under construction has been far short of disastrous, unlike some other teams in the Atlantic Division with far more talent.

Here’s looking at you, New York and Brooklyn, teams that have combined for seven wins. The Celtics’ record stands at 7-11 after Friday’s wire-to-wire blowout victory.


These Celtics, with their best player sidelined and with a patchwork roster learning a new scheme, have proven to be a tough out.

“We’re still fighting,” said Jared Sullinger, who made a career-high four 3-pointers. “The team is still here.”

“That might have been our best game on both ends of the floor that we have played,” Stevens said. “We had a number of different guys contribute’’

Yes, there were quite a few of those contributions.

Jeff Green scored a season-high 31 points, hitting 10 of 19 shots and scoring 15 in the second quarter alone.


Avery Bradley scored 21 points and made 9 of 11 shots, hitting 3 of 4 from long range.

Sullinger showcased surprising 3-point accuracy for the bulky 6-foot-8-inch forward, as he scored 12 points.

And then there was Jordan Crawford, who notched his third career triple-double with 11 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists.

“It was nice to put everything together,” said Green. “We have had our ups and downs throughout the season. We have had quarters where we play well and quarters that we didn’t, but it was good to put an all-around good game together.”

The Celtics have had their share of awful starts, such as when they trailed, 27-13, after the first quarter Wednesday in their loss to Memphis.

But they knocked out the Cavaliers with a game-opening 18-2 run. By the time the run was over, the Celtics had made 8 of 10 shots and the Cavaliers had missed 9 of 10.

Cavaliers coach Mike Brown twice tried to stop the bleeding with a timeout, to no avail, and the bloodbath only got worse.

The Celtics stretched their lead to 25, and all the bounces seemed to be going their way. They even banked in two 3-pointers.

Had the referees any heart, they would’ve asked the timer to let the clock run to end the affair sooner rather than later, if only for the sake of the woeful Cavaliers, who fell to 4-12.

The Celtics made 50 percent of their shots and a season-high 11 3-pointers. They shot 48 percent from long range.

“You have nights where you really shoot the ball well, I don’t know why that is,” Stevens said. “But sometimes you can get rolling and sometimes you play with a great deal of confidence and that is kind of what happened tonight.

“The deal is when you have those nights you better win. I’m glad that we found a way to do that.”

Unlike in some games, when the Celtics have blown double-digit leads, they were able to put the Cavaliers down and keep them down.

“We kept the focus,” Crawford said. “Even though we had a comfortable lead, we still felt like they could come back. We just wanted to finish the game out.”

The Celtics also avoided losing their fifth straight game at home, which no Celtics team has done since 2006-07.

“It feels good to just get a win at home, period,” Green said. “These fans deserve it. They’ve been supporting us since Day 1. We’ve had our games where we’ve had the lead and we lost it, and they still come to support. It feels good to get a win for them like this.”

Kyrie Irving scored 17 points, but the other Cavaliers starters combined to score 13.

“They threw the first punch tonight and I feel like we laid down,” said Dion Waiters, who scored a team-high 21 off the bench.

Forward Anthony Bennett, the top pick in the 2013 draft, again struggled with just 4 points off the bench. As a whole, the Cavaliers looked like they’ll again be in contention for the top pick in the draft.

November didn’t look like it would be a month to remember for these Celtics, as their docket included 18 games in 30 days against some of the top competition in the league.

They still have one game left — against the Bucks in Milwaukee Saturday — before their December slate begins, but already the Celtics look capable in a division that isn’t tough and in a conference that’s so-so.

Already they’ve had one Gino Time appearance, which, as Stevens pointed out, is more than some might have imagined.

Baxter Holmes can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @BaxterHolmes.