Joe Murray

Joe Murray

Joe Murray

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 19: Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics reacts against the Miami Heat during the second quarter in game two of the Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on May 19, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

On Tuesday night the (16-5) Boston Celtics welcomed the (13-10) Cleveland Cavaliers to Boston off an unusual 3 days without a game for the Celtics. Boston headed into this one at full strength with all 5 regular starters while Cleveland was on the second night of a back to back and missing a few key pieces. Early on it looked like the rest vs. rust debate was going to be an issue for the Celtics but Jaylen Brown kept them in the game early.

First Quarter

The first quarter was an abysmal one for the Celtics, it was as bad as they’ve looked at home all season. They were missing shots making bad passes and failing to rotate on defense.  The only Celtic doing anything early on was Jaylen Brown as he racked up 10 of Boston’s first twelve points. Outside of Brown the Celtics were 0-8 shooting to start the game and were a mess defensively. However things started to turn at the end of the quarter as the defensive intensity picked up and the rest of the offense started to hit shots ending the quarter only trailing 31-21 after what felt like a 20 point deficit was possible.

Second Quarter

The second quarter was a different story for the Celtics as Derrick White picked up right where he left off on Friday night getting Boston back into this one. White had 10 points 1 block and 1 steal in the first 4 minutes of the second and cut the Cleveland lead to two with a trio of three pointers in a row.  After trailing 29-15 Boston would come back to tie the game with a pair of Brown free throws with 3:52 to go in the half. A Donovan Mitchell technical late in the quarter would give Jayson Tatum a free throw to tie the game on a controversial out of bounds call that Mitchell was upset about. Cleveland would escape the first half with a very narrow 1 point lead after leading by double digits for most of the half, heading into the locker room leading 60-59.


    Third Quarter

    An end of quarter injury scare for Jaylen Brown was a major cause for concern headed into halftime but Jaylen returned to start the half and Boston was looking for redemption after a weak first half in which they were lucky to only be trailing by one. Jaylen wasn’t just back on the floor he immediately made his impact felt scoring the first five points of the half giving Boston a 64-61 lead.

    The third quarter was more of the game I think most fans expected at the beginning of this one a back and forth battle with Donovan Mitchell trading shots with Boston’s stars. Mitchell would go on a personal 11-2 run to give Cleveland a 72-68 lead with 8:26 to go in the quarter. Both teams would continue to trade shots throughout the quarter with Boston getting some much needed offense from Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis. Porzingis had 13 points through the first 10:30 of the quarter and was a much needed spark for Boston. The Celtics would head into the 4th with their 17 game home win streak on the line leading 94-92.


    Fourth Quarter

    The fourth started with a quick 5 points from Caris Levert to give the Cavaliers a 97-92 lead early on. Both sides would start over again with 9:20 to go in the game tied 99-99. The second half of this game was a 3-pointing barrage with both teams trading deep baskets left and right, a pair of Sam Hauser 3’s would give Boston a 104-101 lead with 8:10 to go in the game. Porzingis would continue to play well in the second half and a Jayson Tatum 3-pointer with 4:26 left in the game would give cap off a 7-0 Celtics run to give Boston a 113-106 lead.

    Cleveland put up a hell of a fight for a team on the second night of a back to back but Boston’s star power just proved to much in the end, as Cleveland only scored 7 points in the final 6 minutes of the game giving Boston the 120-113 win. This win would give the Celtics their 18th straight home win their longest streak in 30 years. With another matchup against the Cavaliers on Thursday night Boston will be in for another tough matchup.

    Scaz’s takeaways

    • Derrick White continues to play at an All-NBA level
    • Joe Mazzula’s in game adjustments continue to improve
    • Celtics are starting to figure out their lineup rotations
    • Cavaliers will be a tough out in the playoffs

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