The Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers entered Sunday’s battle trending in vastly different directions. The former were losers of three straight while the latter claimed a trio of consecutive victories, including two straight against the new-look Nets.
The Celtics managed to flip the script in their favor, pouring in a season-high in points to defeat the Cavaliers by a whopping final margin of 141-103.
Boston jumped out to a 38-21 edge after the first 12 minutes. Still without Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart picked up the scoring slack with 19 points on a combined 8-of-12 shooting. The Celtics dominated the interior with a 16-6 edge in points in the paint.
The blowout extended into the second quarter as the Celtics extended their lead to as many as 23 points. Kemba Walker scored seven of his 13 first-half points in the second.
Against a Cavs team that forces the most turnovers per game, Boston impressively turned the ball over just two times in the first half while whipping the ball around en route to 14 assists.
The game was smooth sailing for Boston the rest of the way, but not without a little history as the cherry on top of a much-needed victory.
Brown’s 33 points now stand as the most a player has ever scored in less than 20 minutes in NBA history. He needed just over 19 minutes to record his fifth 30-point game of the season.
Kemba Walker was second on the Celtics in scoring with 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Boston got solid production out of its oversized frontcourt, where Daniel Theis brought the scoring with 17 points and Tristan Thompson cleaned up the glass with 12 rebounds in just 22 minutes.
For the Cavaliers, Collin Sexton cooled off after scorching Brooklyn to finish with 13 points and six turnovers. Cedi Osman, Jarrett Allen, and Damyean Dotson each chipped in 12.
The Celtics will head to Chicago to face the Bulls on Monday, where they will welcome Tatum back into the lineup after the All-Star missed the previous five games after testing positive for COVID-19.