CLEVELAND — Carsen Edwards returned to the place where he had the most NBA success, the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, although that success was in the preseason.
Edwards scored 26 points — with eight 3-pointers — in 8:46 of the third period in the Celtics’ win here Oct. 15.
In his first four regular-season games, Edwards struggled and entered Tuesday night’s game shooting 2 for 13 from the 3-point line and 5 for 22 from the field. He regained his stroke against the Cavaliers, scoring 13 points in 15 minutes and hitting 3 of 4 from beyond the arc in the Celtics’ 119-113 victory.
“I just took shots that were open and they were able to go in,” Edwards said. “I did some good things and we won. I felt comfortable and was able to get it some type of rhythm. Just seeing it go in felt good.”
Edwards was drafted as a prolific scorer out of Purdue and his early struggles were somewhat surprising. He has etched a reserve role as a scorer, and Edwards is trying to make the expected impact.
“I’m just continuing to try to learn every day,” he said. “Consistency is my main focus, so I’m able to focus on that, and worry about what I can control.”
Edwards, a 5-foot-11-inch guard, is trying to prove he’s more than instant offense. He wants to embrace defending.
“I don’t want to be a guy that’s just known for making shots,” he said. “I want to be known for doing other stuff. That will just be a plus hopefully when I start making shots.”
On his eight 3-pointers in the last trip to Cleveland, Edwards said: “It was preseason, it didn’t really count.”
When asked if he had any words for Edwards during his slump, Celtics coach Brad Stevens said: “Fire away, kid. Have fun. Enjoy it. Is anybody worried about him when he gets hot? The law of averages will eventually kick in.”
Tuesday night, Stevens was right.
Kanter still mending
Although he appears to be close to returning to the lineup, Celtics center Enes Kanter missed his fifth consecutive game with a left knee contusion suffered in the season-opening loss to the 76ers.
Kanter participated in the team’s shootaround Tuesday morning, but Stevens said trainers were doubtful the big man would play.
“He’s just not ready,” Stevens said. “He really wants to play, clearly, but none of our medical staff feels he’s ready to go.”
Kanter said his morning workout went fine, but the training staff wants him to participate in more live 5-on-5 full-court work before clearing his return. The Celtics are scheduled to practice Wednesday in Charlotte.
The Celtics have had to deal with a number of injuries in their frontcourt and haven’t had much opportunity to see how the quartet of Kanter, Robert Williams, Daniel Theis, and Vincent Poirier could work together because the season opener was the only game all were healthy.
Kanter signed a two-year deal with the Celtics to be their starting center, but he has yet to even come close to making the expected impact because of the injury.
“The [76ers] game, the guy fell on my knee and then it started feeling weird,” Kanter said. “It’s frustrating man because it’s too early in the season to take this many games off. But they said it’s a long season, just take your time, 82 games, playoffs, [team officials] just said be patient, be back 100 percent, so that’s what I’m trying to do.”
Kanter has already missed two games against the Knicks, one of his four former teams. The Celtics play the Knicks again at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 1.
“I want to play those bad, especially in New York,” he said. “My job is to go out there and bring physicality and rebound. It’s very important to come back as early as I can.”
Jaylen Brown, who has missed three games with an illness that turned into an infection, did not make the trip to Cleveland. He did, however, practice in Boston with assistant coach Kenny Graves and is making progress, according to Stevens. Brown will work out again Wednesday in Boston and there’s a possibility he could rejoin the team in Charlotte for Thursday’s matchup.
Williams, who missed Friday’s win over the Knicks with a hip pointer, participated in shootaround and played Tuesday, giving the Celtics three healthy big men. He had 6 points and four rebounds in 15 minutes.