On Tuesday night the Celtics played their second of two road games, this time in Cleveland against the Cavaliers. The Celtics came in off a bad loss to the Detroit Pistons that caused Doc Rivers to make some harsh statements. Following their loss Doc threatened that if this team didn't get it together big changes were ahead. The team looked to bounce back and stop their three game losing streak but once again we're denied losing 95-90 to the Cavs.
The Cavaliers have one of the worst records in the NBA at 10-32 and also just lost their standout Center, Anderson Varejao. This was deemed a must win for the team but once again they just couldn't get it together. The Celtics really struggled on the offensive end shooting just 38.1%. This was largely due to our veteran's Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett who were a combined 8-28 on the night. Rajon Rondo had a great game finishing with 17 points, 13 rebounds, and 8 assists but it simply wasn't enough.
Boston Celtics' Rajon Rondo (9) drives to the basket against Cleveland Cavaliers' Tyler Zeller (40) during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Our other starters, Avery Bradley and Brandon Bass, both has quiet nights. Bradley scored just 7 points on 2-4 shooting and looked to help slow down Kyrie Irving. Bass has continued to struggle to contribute shooting just 4-7 for 8 points and grabbed 6 rebounds.
The Cavaliers were led by their franchise player, Kyrie Irving who had a tremendous night scoring 40 points on 16-24 shooting. When he was in the game the Cavaliers rarely struggled on the offensive end as Kyrie constantly demanded help defense. Nevertheless, the game remained close the entire time as the teams constantly traded buckets. The Celtics gained the biggest lead of the night in the third quarter getting up by as many as 9. However, the team simply couldn't sustain the lead and headed into the fourth quarter up by just three points.
Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving (2) drives past Boston Celtics' Avery Bradley (0) during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Off the bench, Jared Sullinger once again had a solid night. This was his first time playing in his hometown of Cleveland and showed off for friends and family. Sully ended the night with a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds, 5 of which came on the offensive glass.Courtney Lee performed well again which was great to see. He scored 9 points on 3-5 shooting from behind the arc with 3 rebounds and 2 assists. It's good to see Lee finally found his rhythm. Unfortunately for him if we continue to lose games his performances may amount to just benefiting us in trade situations.
In the fourth quarter the Celtics couldn't buy a bucket. Time and time again the Celtics ran a play to get the ball in either Pierce or Garnett's hands but came up empty each attempt. The game took it's final turn for the worst as Rajon Rondo attempted to throw the ball off Irving as he fell out of bounds. Instead Irving simply scooped it up and went in for the easy lay-up extending their lead to 3.
The Celtics now face three very tough games against the Knicks on Thursday, Hawks Friday, and the Heat on Sunday. If the guys can't get it together this week their losing streak could stretch to 7 games. After a loss like this tonight to the lowly Cavs it's tough to say we'll be ready for the Knicks Thursday. Doc will need to rally the guys and hopefully being back home can spark an energy the team certainly needs.