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Celtics 103, Cavaliers 91: Boston snaps losing streak

Paul Pierce single-handily snapped the Boston Celtics three-game losing streak as they ran past the Cleveland Cavaliers, 103-91, on Wednesday night at TD Garden in Boston, MA.

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Celtics 103, Cavs 91: Pierce drops 40 in win

Paul Pierce had a season-high 40 points as the Boston Celtics (13-12) snapped their three-game losing streak, running through the Cleveland Cavaliers (5-22), 103-91, Wednesday night from TD Garden in Boston, MA.

For the first portion of the third quarter, it looked like the Celtics would be in control of the game for good. After leading Cleveland 54-46 at half, Boston jumped out to a 20-point lead late in the frame, as Paul Pierce went off, scoring 17 in the quarter and using a 12-2 individual run to build the lead.

But Kyrie Irving wouldn't let the Cavs fall too far out of contention, scoring 10 points over the last three minutes of the quarter to cut Boston's lead to just 10.

Cleveland continued their strong close to the quarter into the fourth, as they ended a 17-0 run to trail the Celtics by two early in the frame. Boston's offense became complacent with running clock instead of looking for open lanes and jumpers, while their defense struggled to stop the extra pass and step out at the open Cavaliers.

In Irving's extended absence throughout the first half of the fourth quarter, rookie Tyler Zeller showed off his offensive game, scoring seven points over the first six minutes and a career-high 20 points on the night as Cleveland continued to trade baskets with the Celtics in an attempt to finally take the lead.

That never happened, though, as Pierce checked back into the game and Boston pushed their lead back up, using a 12-4 run late in the game to give the Celtics a lead Cleveland would never get close to overcoming.

Rajon Rondo finished the night with 20 points, eight assists and four rebounds to lead the Celtics, while Irving had 22 points and four assists for Cleveland.

Both teams struggled from the free throw line, with Cleveland connecting on 66 percent of their attempts and Boston hitting 74 percent of their shots.

The Celtics will look to continue their winning ways Friday, when Monta Ellis and the Milwaukee Bucks travel to TD Garden for a 7:30 pm ET tip-off.


FINAL 12.19.12 1 2 3 4 Total
Cleveland Cavaliers 25 21 26 19 91
Boston Celtics 27 27 28 21 103

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Celtics 54, Cavs 46: Boston takes the early lead

Paul Pierce had 15 points as the Boston Celtics lead the Cleveland Cavaliers, 54-46, at halftime on Wednesday night at TD Garden in Boston, MA.

Celtics head coach Doc Rivers knew change was needed after three-consecutive blowout losses.

He did so to start out Boston's Wednesday night contest against the Cavaliers, by moving bench stalwart Jason Collins into the starting lineup at the center position, moving Kevin Garnett to power forward and Brandon Bass to the bench.

It worked initially, jumping out to a 7-0 lead over the first few minutes before Dion Waiters found his rhythm for the Cavaliers. Cleveland would use a 6-0 run to get back into the game, but it was Rondo's aggressiveness and Pierce's three-point stroke that allowed the Celtics to trade baskets with the Cavs.

At the end of one, Rondo had 12 points and four rebounds, while Pierce notched 10 points on 2-of-2 shooting from long range and the Celtics led the Cavaliers, 27-25. Waiters led Cleveland with eight points as the Cavs had more than half of their points from the quarter, 14, in the paint.

Cleveland would trade baskets with the Celtics, as it was all Courtney Lee in the second. Lee scored six-straight points for Boston, extending their lead to 38-34. A Tyler Zeller make ended Boston's mini run, but the Celtics found their old veterans– Pierce and Garnett– to combine for a 7-0 run to push Boston's lead to 10 late in the half.

After starting three games over the road trip, Boston moved Lee back to the bench in favor of Jason Terry, who got the starting nod. But through the second quarter, Celtics fans got a glimpse of what they can expect from Lee– running the floor with Terry. The guard duo seems to be the most in sync of the bench unit, running the floor in transition and finding each other in their respective "hot spots".

At the half, the Cavaliers are shooting 42 percent, while the Celtics have connected on 56 percent of their attempts. Alonzo Gee has 11 to lead Cleveland, while Kyrie Irving only notched six points.




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Celts vs. Cavs: Collins to start; Varejao out

BOSTON - Jason Collins will get his first start of the season for the Boston Celtics as they take on the Cleveland Cavaliers, who will be without their star center Anderson Varejao due to a knee injury.

Collins will start at center alongside Kevin Garnett, who normally starts at the five for Boston but will slide to power forward to start the game. Celtics coach Doc Rivers stressed before the game that he would like to find ways to avoid having to play Garnett at the five for the entire game. Joining Collins and Garnett in the Celtics' starting lineup are Paul Pierce, Jason Terry and Rajon Rondo.

Collins, 34, has appeared in five games this season for the Celtics and has scored just two points while grabbing 14 rebounds. Collins logged 12 minutes in Tuesday night's loss to the Chicago Bulls, during which time he had five rebounds.

As for the Cavs, rookie Tyler Zeller is expected to start for Varejao.



For more Boston Celtics coverage, visit our team blog, Celtics Blog.

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Celtics vs. Cavs: Reeling Celts take on Cleveland

Rajon Rondo and the skidding Boston Celtics (12-12) hope to snap their losing streak against Kryie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers (5-21) Wednesday night at TD Garden in Boston, MA.

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