David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Celtics outlast Cavs 103-96, Hayward scores 18 in return to Cleveland

CLEVELAND - The Boston Celtics didn't need Kyrie Irving or Marcus Morris to outlast the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers Tuesday night.

The Green picked up a 103-96 win in Cleveland and improved to 35-19 on the season. They have now won five games in a row.

Gordon Hayward played well in his first game back in Cleveland after breaking his leg there last year. He poured in 18 points and added six rebounds and five assists.

Jayson Tatum led the team with 25 points. He went 12-12 from the free throw line, a new career-best.

Marcus Smart continued his hot shooting, going 4-5 from three-point range as part of a 17-point night.  Jaylen Brown had 13 points. Al Horford had nine points and eight assists.

Cleveland's Collin Sexton had a game-high 27 points.

Irving missed the game with what the team calls a left hip strain. Morris was out with a sore right knee.

The Celtics host the Lakers on Thursday, just hours after the NBA trading deadline.