Paul Pierce hit his first six 3-point field goals on the night and scored a season-high 40 points as the Celtics hung on for a 103-91 win over the undermanned Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday night at TD Garden. The win snapped Boston's three-game losing skid and helped them back over .500 at 13-12 on the season while the Cavaliers fell to an NBA-worst 5-22 on the season. Pierce finished 13-of-16 from the field to lead a red-hot Celtics night from the floor. Boston shot 59 percent from the field as a team. It was Pierce's 24th career 40-point game.
The Celtics appeared to have the game well in hand, building a 20-point lead with 3:16 left in the third. But Boston's bench got sloppy with the ball and allowed the Cavaliers to go on a 20-2 run that made it close in the fourth. The Celtics went on a 10-1 run to fend off the Cavaliers late in the fourth quarter.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers shook things up before the game, benching Courtney Lee and Brandon Bass and starting Jason Terry and Jason Collins. The move allowed Kevin Garnett to move back to his more natural spot at big forward while Pierce picked up the scoring pace.
The move also took advantage of the absence of Anderson Varejao. The NBA's leading rebounder (14.4 rebounds per game) was out with a knee injury.
Early on, the Celtics had trouble shaking the Cavaliers and led by just two points, 27-25, after one. Rajon Rondo, who finished with 20 points and eight assists, had 12 points but no assists in the first quarter.
Pierce began his shooting barrage in the first quarter, hitting a pair of threes. He added one more in the second quarter as the Celtics slowly began to add to their lead, taking a 54-46 lead to the locker room at the half.
Pierce came out on fire in the third quarter, hitting all four threes as part of his 17-point third quarter. The Celtics led 80-60 late in the third but Kyrie Irving scored nine straight points and the Cavaliers ended the third on a 12-2 run that closed the lead to 82-72 after three. The Boston meltdown continued at the start of the fourth as Tyler Zeller converted a three-point play with just over eight minutes left to make it 82-80.
After a Zeller jumper made it 86-82 Celtics, Pierce came down and hit a free-throw line jumper to put the Celtics and had a chance to extend on the next possession but he missed his first three of the night and Zeller answered to cut it to 88-84. Jason Terry intercepted an inbounds pass and went in for a layup and then Rondo hit a jumper to extend Boston's lead to 92-84 with under five minutes left. Pierce hit a pair of free throws with 4:30 left to put Boston ahead, 94-84.
Collins finished with just one point in 23 minutes before fouling out with three minutes left while Terry was 3-for-5 from long range and finished with 15 points. The Celtics finished 8-for-13 from 3-point distance.
The Celtics are off Thursday before hosting the Milwaukee Bucks at the Garden Friday night. For more, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.
Greg and Chris discuss the Pats kicking the tires on Rolando McClain, something that shocked both of these guys. They also get into the Aaron Hernandez trial and Robert Kraft appearing as a witness last Tuesday. Aaron Schatz, Football Outsiders, called the show to talk offseason free agency, Pats HOF/Parcells and more. The guys also got into the NFL schedule coming out soon and who the Pats will open with.
The intelligent and knowledgeable Aaron Schatz calls the boys to discuss the Patriots offseason, how some teams don't need to make moves in free agency to improve, the Pats HOF debate and much more.
In hour 1 on this fine Easter Sunday, Greg and Chris discuss the Patriots Hall of Fame - who's in, who's not and who should be? They also get into the NFL draft and discuss some particular names Pats fans should keep in mind with WEEI.com's Mike "Trags" Petraglia.
Brian "White Mamba" Scalabrine joins the guys to talk about the Celtics playoff push, the development of Marcus Smart and James Young, and the prospect of Brad Stevens leaving the Celtics for a college job.
Brow Buff's Sam Packard and Ben Kichen break down Marcus Smart's unfortunate ball tap, debate leadership in the Celtics locker room, and rehash the great Kevin Love to Boston rumors.
Flannery joins Mut to break down the Isaiah Thomas trade to Boston and what it means for the Celtics this season and in the future. Paul also chats with Mut about the other deals that happened at the NBA's trading deadline
Xander had the game winning hit in the bottom of the 9th to get the Red Sox on top of the Baltimore Orioles 3-2, he talked with Joe and Dave after the game about what his thought process during the at-bat was and the excitement of a walk-off.
Buster Olney of ESPN joins the guys to talk about the first two weeks of the baseball season. They discuss the struggling Red Sox rotation and the potential of the high-powered offense.
Joe and Dave talk with Red Sox catcher Ryan Hanigan after the Red Sox come back to beat the Nationals 8-7.
Cominf off a terrible game agaisnt the Capitals, Pierre McGuire discusses Claude Julien's decision to mix up the lines as well as the Bruins two remaining games.
We talk all things Bruins with the great Jack Edwards of NESN as they prepare to take on the Capitals.
In hour 2 of the Easter edition, the Sunday Skate crew discuss Reilly Smith and how he is struggling to get on track. This leads to a discussion of his much disputed new contract and Chiarelli's way of conducting team business. They get in Gregory Campbell's role on the team and if he still deserves as much ice time as he has been getting. More line discussions and a look at the B's playoff push ensue.
The latest edition of Answer The Question Kirk with Rob Bradford and Gary Tanguay.
The Celtics president of basketball operations joined the show to preview Cavs Celts.
The guys discussed the Pats draft with Todd McShay.
Kyle Draper and Sports Radio Hack Lou Merloni make up after beefing earlier in the week, Aaron Hernandez gets taken down by Larry Willmore, and our very own Christian Fauria makes his Country Music Debut
Celtics play-by-play announcer Mike Gorman joins the guys to defend his prediction of Celtics in 6.
After some suspicious outfield play from Red Sox Left Fielder Hanley Ramirez, the guys question whether or not he has what it takes to play in the outfield, a position he has never played before.
Michael, Jerry and Andy Hart discuss this year's Celtics as they enter the playoffs to take one of the best teams in the East in the NBA Playoffs.
We discuss the Britt McHenry suspension from ESPN, and the incident itself, and whether or not we've all had an incident like this, and whether her response was in any way appropriate.
We wrap up the day with some of the best sound of the day and the week.
Mikey Adams, joined by Lenny Megliola and Chris Villani, talks about the Red Sox home opening win at Fenway and the Bruins fallout after missing the playoffs including the future of Peter Chiarelli and Claude Julien.
Chris Price joins Mut to talk about how Revis will heat up the Jets-Pats rivalry next season
Mut opens his show talking about the New York Jets filing tampering charges on the Patriots
Ben and Sam are joined by Julian Edlow from WEEI.com to give their predictions on every series in the NBA Playoffs.
Jerry is joined by hockey writer Brian "Rear Admiral" McGonagle of Barstool Sports to perform a post-mortem on what happened to the 2014-15 Bruins, who's to blame and where the team goes from here.
Ben and Alex break down Leg 1 of the quarter finals of the Champions League and talk about some of the most interesting transfer rumors.
The Celtics president of basketball operations joined the show to preview Cavs Celts.More from this show
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