Cleveland may be the worst team in the NBA, but they do posses a 1-1 record against the Celtics this season.
The Cavs toppled the Celtics, 95-87, in their season opener one night after Boston had defeated former Cleveland hero, LeBron James, and his new team, the Miami Heat. The Celtics then proceeded to top the Cavaliers, 106-87, on November 30th.
Boston looks to take control of the season series when it hosts Cleveland at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday night at TD Garden (TV/Radio: CSNNE/WEEI).
Ever since Cleveland's spirit-lifting win over Boston, it's been a downhill ride. The Cavaliers lost five of their next eight games after winning the season opener, and quickly descended to the basement of the Eastern Conference.
Cleveland currently owns the league's worst record at 8-36. The Cavaliers have been absolutely dreadful over the past two months, losing 17 games in a row while winning only one of their last 27 games (a 109-102 win over New York on December 18th).
To make matters worse, Cleveland has lost 21 straight road games and owns a horrendous 3-22 record away from Quicken Loans Arena. If the Cavaliers lose to the Celtics tonight, it would set a franchise record for consecutive road losses.
"Losing period is tough," Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott said. "I don't know if it's that much tougher if it's one or two points for if it's 15 or 20 points. It's tough no matter how you look at it." (via SB Nation/Sports Network)
The Cavs latest shortcoming came on Monday when they lost to the New Jersey Nets, 103-101. Brook Lopez hit the game-winning shot to sink Cleveland, and finished the night with 28 points and seven rebounds for New Jersey. Antawn Jamison had 26 points and eight rebounds and Daniel Gibson added 19 points and five assists in the loss for Cleveland.
Jamison is the Cavs' leading scorer, averaging 17.3 points per contest. Gibson averages 13.8 points, J.J. Hickson averages 11.1 points and Ramon Sessions averages 10.9 points per game. Mo Williams, who was injured last Friday and could miss a month, was averaging 13.6 points and a team-best 7.1 assists.
Boston (33-10) faired no better in its last game, dropping a heartbreaker against the Washington Wizards in out nation's capital. Paul Pierce had a chance to win the game in the closing seconds, but missed his trademark fadeaway to seal the win for John Wall and the Wizards.
Pierce had 12 points and eight rebounds in the loss. Kevin Garnett led Boston with 17 points, Rajon Rondo added nine points and 13 assists and Ray Allen chipped in with 16 points and five rebounds.
"When we had them down we should have extended the lead, but we didn't," Garnett said. "We'll learn from this." (via SB Nation/Sports Network)
Pierce continues to lead the Celtics in scoring, averaging 19 points. Ray Allen is second in scoring, averaging 17.3 points, and Garnett is third with 15.2 points per contest. Rondo averages 10.5 points and leads the team and the league in assists, dishing out 13 dimes per game.
Common sense would seem to indicate that the Eastern Conference leading Celtics should be a lock to win on Tuesday night. However, this is the NBA, and any given team can win on any given night.That's why you play the games.