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Cavs, Celtics hope to end losing streaks
(SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of Eastern Conference squads will try to stop identical three-game losing streaks when the Boston Celtics host the Cleveland Cavaliers Saturday at TD Garden.
The well-rested Celtics are back home for two straight games following a 106-79 loss at Indiana last Sunday, as Avery Bradley scored 13 points to lead the visitors. Jeff Green and Courtney Lee chipped in 11 points apiece for Boston, losers in three straight and five of seven games.
"I learned that we have a long way to go," said Boston head coach Brad Stevens, "but we've played better than this. For whatever reason, we didn't play well tonight."
Indiana won every quarter and held the Celtics to 38.1 percent shooting.
Celtics center Jared Sullinger was limited to six points.
Boston went 2-3 on a recent homestand and has lost back-to-back games at the Garden. The team, which is slated to host Atlanta on Tuesday, is 7-8 overall in Beantown this season.
In injury news for the Celtics, Bradley is probable for Saturday's game with a bruised knee.
Cleveland has lost three in a row and five of its last six games, including Thursday's 127-125 double-overtime loss versus the Atlanta Hawks. Hawks guard Jeff Teague scored 34 points and sank the go-ahead bucket as time expired in the second OT.
Cavs star Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 40 points, including 16 in the overtime sessions, and made 17-of-33 from the field. He handed out nine assists and had four steals for Cleveland, which owned a 118-113 lead before the Hawks used a game-ending 14-7 run that was spearheaded by Kyle Korver's rare 3-point play with 2:44 to go.
"We had some good moments over the course of the game, but it's disappointing because we had a chance to close out the game a couple of times in regulation and overtime," said Cavs head coach Mike Brown. "You have to give credit to Atlanta."
Tristan Thompson had 22 points and Dion Waiters added 20 off the bench in a losing cause. Thompson is averaging a double-double of 14.0 points and 10.3 rebounds in his last 12 games for the Cavs, who made a season-high 49 field goals and have scored at least 106 points per game in six of the past eight, averaging 107.0 ppg in that time.
Irving, meanwhile, has scored 20-plus points in seven of his last nine contests, posting an average of 27.3 points and 6.9 assists in that span.
Cavs center Andrew Bynum was suspended 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 26-year-old Bynum has averaged 8.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 24 games this season, his first with the Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers have dropped two in a row on the road and are 2-12 as the guest. They suffered a 103-86 loss to Boston in the first of three meetings this season on Nov. 29 and the two clubs will meet in Cleveland on April 12.
Cleveland has lost 21 of its last 28 games in Boston.
12/28 11:36:30 ET