Tuesday night’s matchup in Cleveland marked Boston’s first of three games on the road. This game and the next against Charlotte are important games for the Celtics to win as the team has 8 of the next 10 games on the road including a five-game West Coat road trip.
This Cavs team however horrible they looked in pre season has lodged two wins already to start the season, against the Pacers and Bulls. Led by veteran Kevin Love who has paced the Cavs with 19 points and 15 rebounds on the season and fellow big TT is right behind with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
The Celtics adjusted quickly on the road in this one hitting on 9 straight points whilst holding the Cavs to a solitary basket. Daniel Theis battled hard against both Thompson and Love to start the game as the Celtics forced turnovers and rose for a nice catch and dunk off a Marcus Smart lob.
Gordon Hayward came out really decisive from the opening tip with a bevy of aggressive moves and a perfect 1st quarter shooting display on 7 from 7 and 16 points. Hayward carved space in and around the basket with a beautiful array of drives, lay-ins and dunks. Old Gordo, AKA Utah G is back!!!
Gordon's 7-7 and isn't breaking a sweat pic.twitter.com/hp8FXWRmQ5— Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) November 6, 2019
Notably, toward the end of the first quarter, Brad Stevens inserted 26 year-old rookie Javonte Green, alongside fellow rookie Grant Williams and second year Rob Williams III. Stevens mixing and matching early in the season is not uncommon as he looks for different combos to run with. The quarter would end 32-24 as Boston logged it’s best opening stanza of the young season.
Celtics lead 32-24 after one in Cleveland. Best offensive first quarter of the year for Boston. 14-of-22 shooting so far.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) November 6, 2019
Hayward - 16 points
Walker - 10 points
Tatum 4 points, 5 rebounds
Thompson - 7 points, 6 rebounds
Jaylen Brown remained sidelined sporting his new haircut and rookie Carsen Edwards and three-year man Semi Ojeleye followed his lead with fresh new cuts possibly to get a jump on some fresh play and better performances. Edwards got touches in the second quarter and made the most of it nailing a three as he joined a small three-guard lineup alongside both Walker and Wanamaker.
After scoring 16 to start the game Brad Stevens rested the hot Hayward for around a 7 minute stretch in the second quarter in which Cleveland climbed back into the game. Hayward eventually returned to score another 6 points and the end the half at 22, still perfect from the field. Boston held onto the lead at the half 59-52.
The starters returned in the third and instantly played more cohesive than any other lineup Brad Stevens could piece together. The defensive intensity lifted and as such, so did the easy transition baskets.
It’s clear Stevens is trying to make something happen with his rotations, some games that means Grant Williams might contribute other nights it will likely be someone different. Robert Williams III also known as the Timelord came out swinging just prior to the end of the 3rd to wake up the Cs.
Carsen Edwards (13 points, 3-4 from three) had a really nice second half, showing the shooting touch alongside RWill. Both players looked pretty comfortable alongside the starters, and Edwards, like he did in the preseason clash in Cleveland, saw one go bucket go in, and decided to keep the momentum rolling.
Kemba Walker who has been on a scoring tear was solid again in this one. His mid range and long distance game has been a steady influence on the team as he looks to keep the scoreboard ticking without holding onto the ball for large stretches. Kemba would go 6-8 from three and score 25 points and have 8 rebounds. Hayward also, had a monster performance in this one:
☘️ Celtics 119 ⚔️ Cavaliers 113— Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_) November 6, 2019
Gordon Hayward's biggest scoring output in a Boston uniform (includes a monster putback in final minute)
Five straight wins for Celtics, tied for best record in the East. Hayward mood pic.twitter.com/99Cj3a383o
Boston held on late to get the win and now move to 5-1 on the season, they next play in Charlotte on Thursday.