Last night’s matchup between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics would mark the first of three matchups between each other. Last season, the Cavaliers defeated the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, 4-1. This season is a little different for both teams: During the offseason, one of the biggest trades were made which involved Kyrie Irving being traded to the Celtics for Isaiah Thomas. Isaiah Thomas was unable to play last night due to a hip injury but Irving looked forward to playing in front of the Cleveland crowd in a different jersey.
The Cleveland Cavaliers would shoot fifty percent from the field as a team in the first quarter while the Boston Celtics shot thirty-five percent from the field. Georgia-native Jaylen Brown shot forty-three percent from the field as he collected seven points. He would also crash the boards for two defensive rebounds as new-point guard Kyrie Irving would shoot sixty percent from the field, earning six points. Gordon Hayward would only score two points before going up for an alley-oop and landing awkwardly on his leg, breaking his ankle. He would have to be carted off the court as he only recorded five minutes.
On the other end of the court, J.R. Smith recorded six points which would include one three-pointer. New-shooting guard Dwyane Wade and Tristan Thompson would score five points each but Thompson would also grab three defensive rebounds. LeBron James chalked up four points, along with four defensive rebounds and four assists. New-Cavaliers players Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose would also score four points as the Ohio team ended the first quarter with a 29 to 19 lead.
In the second quarter, the Cavaliers shot forty-seven percent from the field as the Celtics would end up shooting thirty-three percent from the field. James would start to heat up as he dropped ten points, shooting eighty percent from the field. He also pulled down three defensive rebounds and dished off two assists. Crowder would score seven points, three coming from beyond the arc and two coming from the free-throw line. Kevin Love and Derrick Rose would both chalk up three points each but Love would add one offensive rebound and two defensive rebounds with it while Rose gave out two assists.
As for the visiting team, Brown chalked up five points with three coming from behind the three-point line as he pulled down one offensive rebound and one defensive rebound. Former San Antonio Spurs’ center Aron Baynes would shoot a perfect one-hundred percent from the field, earning himself four points while Kyrie Irving recorded three points, one coming from the free-throw line. Terry Rozier would knock a shot down from behind the arc to give himself three points but it was the Cavaliers who went into halftime with a huge 54 to 38 lead over the Celtics.
The Boston Celtics would start to pick up in the third quarter as they shot fifty-nine percent from the field, limiting the Cavaliers to thirty-two percent. Marcus Smart would heat up for twelve points while collecting two defensive rebounds and two assists. Both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown ended up with eight points while Irving was limited to one three-pointer.
On the other end of the floor, Love would drop six points while grabbing one offensive rebound and three defensive rebounds. Former Chicago Bulls’ point guard Derrick Rose would earn five points, three of them coming from beyond the arc while Wade would settle for three points. LeBron James would play for nine minutes, only to score two points but he would pull down three defensive rebounds as the Celtics ended the third quarter with a thirty-three to eighteen run.
The Cleveland Cavaliers would shoot fifty-eight percent from the field in the fourth quarter as the Boston Celtics shot thirty-five percent from the field. LeBron James would light the floor up with thirteen points including one three-pointer. He also grabbed one offensive rebound and five defensive rebounds. Both Love and Rose would each score five points while shooting fifty percent from the field. They both would each knock down a three-pointer in the process of doing so.
Irving would heat up for ten points, nine coming from beyond the arc and one from the free-throw line. He would also dish off three assists while Brown would score five points including one three-pointer. Tatum would shoot sixty-seven percent from the field but would only settle for four points.
With one minute and four seconds remaining in the game, the Cavaliers would have a one-point lead. Out of a Cleveland timeout, James would find Love in the corner for a wide-open three-pointer, giving the home team a four-point lead. Kyrie Irving would then get fouled, sending him to the free-throw line as he only connects for one of his two free-throws. Right before the game expires, Irving would attempt a three-pointer to force overtime but would not be successful in doing so as the Cavaliers hold on to win the game, 102 to 99. LeBron James finished the game with twenty-nine points, sixteen rebounds and nine assists while Jaylen Brown would finish with twenty-five points and six rebounds.