Celtics-Cavaliers Live: C’s Blow 19-Point Lead, Fall To Cavs 122-121

2,461
Zack Cox Fri, Nov 14, 20147:01pm

7 p.m. ET: The King is back in town. 

A fellow named LeBron James will make his return to TD Garden on Friday night, taking the court in Boston for the first time in nearly 18 months. It’s a venue that has hosted some of the most memorable moments of James’ career, and one that holds a special place in his heart. 

“Their fans know the game of basketball, they appreciate the game of basketball, and I love a little adversity,” James said earlier in the week, via ESPN.com. “They’re one of the best at creating adversity, so it should be fun.”

James’ Cleveland Cavaliers enter their matchup with the Celtics on a two-game winning streak, having dispatched the Denver Nuggets and New Orleans Pelicans to even their record at 3-3 on the young season. 

The Celtics, who had their two-game win streak snapped Wednesday by the Oklahoma City Thunder, will trot out their usual starting five against the Cavs. Head coach Brad Stevens also confirmed before the game that Marcus Thornton will be available off the bench after missing the loss to the Thunder with an ankle injury.

Celtics
Rajon Rondo
Avery Bradley
Jeff Green
Jared Sullinger
Kelly Olynyk

Cavaliers
Kyrie Irving
Shawn Marion
LeBron James
Kevin Love
Anderson Varejao

Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Follow along with all the action right here, and follow NESN.com Celtics beat writer Zack Cox on Twitter for instant updates and analysis.

Thumbnail photo via Russell Isabella/USA TODAY Sports Images

Zack Cox Fri, Nov 14, 20147:41pm

First quarter 11:59, 0-0: We are off and running at TD Garden. 

Zack Cox Fri, Nov 14, 20147:54pm

First quarter 5:50, Celtics 17-11: This is going to be a fun, fun basketball game. 

Both teams are flying all over the court, but the Celtics have done more to capitalize on their opportunities thus far. Kelly Olynyk has been particularly active, tallying four points, two rebounds, a steal and a block while doing a nice job defending Anderson Varejao. 

The highlight so far? This picture-perfect outlet pass from Kevin Love to LeBron James.


He really makes it look easy. 

Also, Rajon Rondo just passed Paul Pierce for fourth on the Celtics’ all-time assists list. 

Zack Cox Fri, Nov 14, 20148:06pm

End first quarter, Celtics 31-25: There wasn’t much for Brad Stevens to complain about in that first quarter. The Cetlics played with the pace and intensity they lacked in the second half of the Thunder game, and they shot nearly 50 percent from the floor (13 of 27). 

LeBron James leads all scorers with eight points, but he went just 3-for-8 from the floor during the first 12 minutes. Kelly Olynyk leads the C’s with seven points, while Jared Sullinger has chipped in with five points and four rebounds. 
Also, it looks like a few distinguished guest have arrived. 
Zack Cox Fri, Nov 14, 20148:08pm

End first quarter, Celtics 31-25: There wasn’t much for Brad Stevens to complain about in that first quarter. The Cetlics played with the pace and intensity they lacked in the second half of the Thunder game, and they shot nearly 50 percent from the floor (13 of 27). 

LeBron James leads all scorers with eight points, but he went just 3-for-8 from the floor during the first 12 minutes. Kelly Olynyk leads the C’s with seven points, while Jared Sullinger has chipped in with five points and four rebounds. 

Also, it looks like a few distinguished guest have arrived. 

Zack Cox Fri, Nov 14, 20148:15pm

Second quarter 8:47, Celtics 39-32: The Celtics have not missed a beat with their starters off the floor. The four bench players who have played for Boston tonight — Brandon Bass, Tyler Zeller, Marcus Thornton and Evan Turner — have combined for 19 points. Cleveland’s bench, meanwhile has accounted for just nine.  

Zack Cox Fri, Nov 14, 20148:19pm

Second quarter 6:59, Celtics 39-38: Brad Steven signals for a timeout after the Cavs cut Boston’s lead to one. Cleveland would be ahead right now were it not for a missed layup by LeBron James, which the Garden crowd certainly appreciated. 

Zack Cox Fri, Nov 14, 20148:28pm

Second quarter 2:45, Cavaliers 50-49: After a quiet start, Avery Bradley is beginning to turn it on. The guard has eight points in the second quarter after putting up just one shot (and missing on it) in the first. The Cavs were able to mount a comeback with Rajon Rondo off the floor, however, and now lead the C’s by one.

Zack Cox Fri, Nov 14, 20148:37pm

Halftime, 59-59: LeBron James came up with a 3-pointer, a steal and an emphatic dunk in the final minutes of the half, but Jeff Green’s two free throws with 1.8 seconds remaining knotted the score at 59 apiece heading into the locker room.

James has 22 points so far to lead all scorers. Kelly Olynyk has 11 points for the Celtics, and Brandon Bass and Avery Bradley both have 10. 

Zack Cox Fri, Nov 14, 20148:51pm

Third quarter 11:59, 59-59: OK, time to strap back in. Rajon Rondo brings the ball up the court to begin the second half. 

Zack Cox Fri, Nov 14, 20148:53pm

Third quarter 10:20, Celtics 63-61: The Celtics start the second half with a bang, with Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green teaming up on an impressive alley-oop.

Zack Cox Fri, Nov 14, 20149:02pm

Third quarter 5:40, Celtics 78-76: Kelly Olynyk has been lights out tonight, and he added to his team-high scoring total by buried his first two 3-point attempts of the second half. He has 19 points thus far. 

A Jeff Green layup pushed the Celtics’ lead to six points, but Kyrie Irving sank shots on consecutive possessions to bring the Cavs back to within two. 

Zack Cox Fri, Nov 14, 20149:11pm

Third quarter 2:50, Celtics 88-80: Rondo finds Tyler Zeller for a backside dunk, and the Cetlics’ lead is back up to eight points. Zeller has played just seven minutes in this game, but he’s made the most of them, scoring six points on 3-of-4 shooting. 

The Celtics’ bench is outscoring the Cavs’ 29-14. 

Zack Cox Fri, Nov 14, 20149:21pm

End third quarter, Celtics 101-84: A Rajon Rondo layup puts the Celtics over the 100-point plateau, and Boston is beginning to run away with this one. The C’s scored 42 points in the third quarter, their most in any frame this season. Finishing out games has been an issue for the Celtics this season, but LeBron & Co. have some serious work to do. 

Zack Cox Fri, Nov 14, 20149:27pm

Fourth quarter 9:14, Celtics 107-98: This one isn’t over yet. 

Kyrie Irving has come out on fire here in the fourth, nailing three 3-pointers and sinking three free throws after getting fouled on another. 

Zack Cox Fri, Nov 14, 20149:38pm

Fourth quarter 6:27, Celtics 114-102: Jeff Green drills a three to give the Celtics a bit of insurance. It was the first successful trey of the night for Green, who missed on his first four tries from deep.

Zack Cox Fri, Nov 14, 20149:43pm

Fourth quarter 4:30, Celtics 114-108: The Cavs refuse to go away, scoring six straight points to cut the deficit to six. 

Zack Cox Fri, Nov 14, 20149:49pm

Fourth quarter 2:26, Celtics 118-113: A Joe Harris three cut made it a one-possession game, but after two consecutive Celtics traveling calls, Rajon Rondo pulled out an around-the-back pump fake into a layup to put the C’s back up five. It was just Rondo’s third basket of the night. 

Zack Cox Fri, Nov 14, 20149:51pm

Fourth quarter 1:11, Cavaliers 119-118: LeBron James blows past Green for a layup, and the Cavs lead. 

Zack Cox Fri, Nov 14, 20149:59pm

Fourth quarter, 0:43.0 121-121: Wow. A perfect inbounds pass from Kelly Olynyk finds Jared Sullinger under the hoop. Sullinger draws a foul, makes his first shot and misses his second, but Green grabs the rebound and is fouled by James. He hits both, and we are all tied up yet again. 

Zack Cox Fri, Nov 14, 201410:06pm

Final, Cavaliers 122-121: Avery Bradley corralled a missed Kyrie Irving layup to give the Celtics one final chance, but Rajon Rondo couldn’t get a shot off on the C’s final possession. 

The Cavs win in a classic, with LeBron James leading the way with 41 points. 

TMZ logo

© 2018 NESN

Partner of USATODAY Sports Digital Properties