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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