(Boston, MA) — The Cleveland Cavaliers got it done in the TD Garden on Friday night against the Boston Celtics with a 122-121 win, hustling 38 points in the fourth quarter. All tied up at half, the Cavaliers looked flat in the third, allowing the Celtics to go on a 12-0 run. With a 17-point deficit to start the fourth, the Cavaliers needed someone to step up.
Kyrie Irving sparked the fourth quarter with three consecutive three-point shots, being fouled on the last. Leading by one point with seven seconds left in the game, the Cavaliers relied on their defense as the Celtics inbounded the ball. Rajon Rondo, the Celtics point guard, lost track of time and did not get a final shot off.
Cleveland, on a two-game winning streak, came into tonight’s game in the TD Garden with their new star, LeBron James, who had not been with the team in Boston, since he notoriously ripped his jersey off after the postseason game six loss in 2010. Showing no hesitation in his desire to commandeer a victory tonight, James put 41 points on the board passing Robert Parish on the all-time scoring list in the second quarter. James followed Irving’s offensive barrage in the fourth to seal the victory.
“Kyrie told me to be aggressive and make some plays,” said James of the fourth quarter comeback.
Kyrie Irving put up 27 points of his own in Friday’s victory giving rookie Joe Harris major props, saying he should be awarded “seven Gatorade shots in the locker room.”
Harris, who is in his rookie year for the Cavs, coming from the University of Virginia, nailed a key three-pointer in the fourth quarter to bring his team within striking distance. Who says white men can’t jump? Harris played 19 minutes, scoring six points with two rebounds. Taking his extended playing time in stride, he replied, “It doesn’t matter whether I play one minute in the first quarter or six minutes in the fourth, you have to be ready to go when your number is called. I have acquired an understanding of my role with this team.”
Making that call, first year coach David Blatt was glad to be back in his hometown, twenty minutes from where he grew up.
“I’d really like to see us play good basketball and win a game,” said David Blatt about tonight’s matchup. After the victory adding, “…that’s quite a homecoming.” Blatt commented on James and Irving. “These are two players with the highest order at the highest level.”
Expecting a win tonight was the key to victory. The Cavaliers showcased a team with determination and fortitude coming back from a 19 point-deficit. Unselfish play and each role player keeping within their limits played to the best of their ability. This Cavalier team will continue to define its identity as the next 75 games are played. Staying up with the fast-paced Boston Celtics, the Cavaliers are growing closer to becoming major competitors out of the Eastern Conference. They are back home tomorrow night against the Atlanta Hawks.