Celtics hold off Cavaliers
Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Jeff Green and Jordan Crawford both had 19 points as the Boston Celtics held off the Cleveland Cavaliers, 103-100, on Saturday.
Avery Bradley added 18 points and eight rebounds for the Celtics, who almost blew a 22-point lead. Brandon Bass and Courtney Lee tallied 15 and 11 points, respectively.
Kyrie Irving ended with 32 points for the Cavaliers, who fell to 2-13 on the road this season. Dion Waiters and Jarrett Jack had 17 and 14 points, respectively.
Prior to the game, Cleveland suspended center Andrew Bynum indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the team. Bynum did not travel with the Cavaliers to Boston and has been excused from all team activities indefinitely.
The Cavaliers scored the first six points of the fourth quarter to get within 85-72.
Cleveland stayed within striking distance and Jack made consecutive 3-pointers to cut the gap to 98-94 with 2:38 to play. The visitors then got within two, 102-100, after Waiters made two free throws with 43.3 seconds left.
Waiters had a chance to tie the game with 8.9 seconds remaining, but Bass blocked his shot. After Bradley went 1-of-2 from the foul line, Cleveland failed to get a shot off in the final 1.4 seconds.
"The last couple of possessions down the floor I thought that Dion did a nice job of turning the corner, playing pick and roll with Anthony Bennett, turning the corner and getting to the rim," said Cavs coach Mike Brown. "If he had the ability to do that right away, go ahead and do that, attack the rim. He played well the last few minutes."
Boston, which held a 24-22 lead after one quarter, started the second period on a 14-4 run. Lee capped the surge with a pair of 3-pointers to make it a 38-26 contest.
The Celtics scored 35 points in the second stanza and took a 59-44 lead into the locker room.
"The ball movement in the first half was outstanding," said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. "And then defensively we just made it difficult enough on Waiters and Irving. And I think that's why you try to do so they don't go for 50 and beat you by themselves. But most of the time, you know, if we play like we did in the first half, we can be a pretty good basketball team."
Boston scored the first seven points of the third quarter to build a 66-44 margin. They held an 85-66 lead heading into the final frame.
Earl Clark had 12 points for the Cavaliers, who have lost four in a row ... Kris Humphries tallied 10 points for the Celtics, who snapped a three-game skid.
12/28 20:31:23 ET