NBA Game Summary - Cleveland at Boston
(Sunday, April 1st)
Final Score: Boston 98, Cleveland 96
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Delonte West hit two free throws with 1.9 seconds left, boosting the Celtics to a 98-96 win over the shorthanded Cleveland Cavaliers.
LeBron James missed the game for the Cavaliers due to right knee tendinitis, but despite his injury, Cleveland nearly pulled out a win. However, Damon Jones missed a shot from the right corner under heavy pressure from Boston's Allan Ray to end the game.
Gerald Green scored 25 points and Al Jefferson added 24 with five blocked shots for Boston, which won for the third time in four games. Ryan Gomes tallied 17 points, as Boston won without its top scorer.
Paul Pierce sat out his second straight game with inflammation in his left elbow and a sore left foot. Boston is 3-23 this season without Pierce in the lineup.
Larry Hughes had 24 points and made all 12 of his free throws for the Cavaliers, who lost for the fifth time in eight contests. Cleveland fell 3 1/2 games behind first place Detroit in the Central Division, as the Pistons beat Miami earlier Sunday.
Jefferson's layup tied the game at 96 with 38.9 seconds left.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas then missed a hook shot in the lane before West tried to drive in the lane before being tripped and fouled by Anderson Varejao.
"The replay shows West stepped on (Varejao's) foot," Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said. "You get told different things by officials at different times. And I know when we were in Utah and Sasha (Pavlovic) got hit down to the floor, there was no whistle and I was told that it was tough to make a call during that time. Then Delonte steps on Andy's foot with 1.9 (seconds) and they knock down two free throws. So that's tough to swallow."
West denies he stepped on Varejao's foot.
"Well, I didn't fall on my own," West said. "I was pretty balanced going to the hole. It was just one of my veteran moves. I drew the contact."
After the two free throws and a Cleveland timeout, Jones got the ball in the right corner, but hit the rim on the long jumper.
Kendrick Perkins added 12 points and nine rebounds, and West finished with 11 points for Boston.
Sasha Pavlovic had 17 points and Ilgauskas 14 for the Cavaliers, who couldn't connect on any of their seven three-point tries, but missed just one of their 25 foul shots.
The Celtics scored the first nine points, on the way to a 28-16 lead after one quarter.
Hughes' three-point play tied the game at 32 and the Cavs were behind by a 53-49 count at the half. Boston widened its lead to 80-69 going into the fourth before the Cavs rallied. A Pavlovic layup made it 82-80 with 8:30 left and it was tight the rest of the way.
The Cavs are 3-1 without James...Cleveland went 2-1 against Boston this season, but had a seven-game winning streak versus the Celtics broken...Varjao and Drew Gooden each had 12 points for Cleveland.
04/01 21:42:56 ET