Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen didn’t
play for the Celtics, coach Doc Rivers saying before the game that he
had also asked Paul Pierce to rest. Pierce, however, played just over
13 minutes and scored 11 points.
Marquis Daniels scored 17 points,
Kendrick Perkins 13 and Rasheed Wallace 10 for the Celtics (6-2). They
were on top 32-22 after a quarter and never trailed again, leading by
as many as 21 points in the third quarter.
LeBron James scored 18 points, Shaquille O’Neal 16 and Anderson Varejao had 10 for the Cavaliers (3-4).
The teams open the season against each other Tuesday.
The first half ended with a skirmish.
After Rajon Rondo‘s shot in the lane spun out, leaving the Celtics with
a 56-48 lead, the Cavaliers’ Mo Williams got up from the floor and
threw an elbow that hit Boston’s Shelden Williams in the chest. The
Celtics’ Williams then pushed Cleveland’s Williams before order was
restored. O’Neal ran from the Cavaliers’ bench toward the brief
skirmish, but was stopped when he got to midcourt.
The Celtics took the lead for good midway through the first quarter on Pierce’s three-point play off a fadeway in the lane.
Rondo’s third-quarter free throw pushed the lead to 73-52, with subs playing most of the last quarter for both teams.