Tuesday definitely was just what the Boston Celtics needed. Not only did the Green put an end to their four-game slide by way of a 116-106 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, but they also officially clinched a playoff spot in the process.
The latter was never really in doubt, no matter how bad things have looked of late for the C’s, but this win in The (completely, 100 percent deserted) Land was more about feeling good about this team’s ability to get things right before the playoffs.
Second-year pro Jayson Tatum certainly delivered those feelings in this one, too, as he came through with 14 first-quarter points, and truly paced the Celtics in what ended as a 57-51 edge through two quarters of play.
Smart picked up where Tatum left off, as the tied for the Boston lead in points by the night’s end, with 21 each, while Al Horford was third among C’s scorers with 19 points behind a 7-for-10 night from the floor.
C’s point guard Kyrie Irving missed this game due to “load management.”
The Green are now a surprising 11-2 without Irving in action this season.
The Celtics host the Pacers on Friday night at TD Garden.