The Boston Celtics suffered a third straight loss, falling to the Cleveland Cavaliers in stunning fashion, 118-114, Monday night in overtime at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
The Celtics dropped to 45-21 while the Cavaliers improved to 41-26 on their campaign.
Check out the full box score here.
ONE BIG TAKEAWAY
With three premier starters sidelined, somehow, someway the Celtics found a way to battle after playing a double overtime contest against the New York Knicks less than 24 hours before. Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla ran with the starting lineup of Blake Griffin, Mike Muscala, Marcus Smart, Derrick White and Jaylen Brown against a healthy Cavaliers team that’s taken the C’s to overtime twice in three prior matchups.
And it worked… until the final seconds of regulation.
Grant Williams’ fourth-quarter trash talk to Donovan Mitchell backfired at the free-throw line, resulting in an utter failure when the Celtics needed him the most. Williams had a golden opportunity to give the Celtics a lead with under a second remaining. But after insinuating that he’d hit them both, he missed them both, sending the game into overtime.
On the bright side, the night spoke volumes to Boston’s depth once again. The bench — which consisted of Malcolm Brogdon, Williams, Sam Hauser, Luke Kornet and Payton Pritchard — did its part in keeping the contest competitive and uplifting the starters, combining to score 50 points with seven assists. On the defensive end, they racked up three blocks and a steal while limiting their turnover total to four. The reserves were also responsible for knocking down nine of the Celtics’ total 16 3-pointers, which made a late fourth-quarter Cavaliers 11-2 run around the three-minute mark sustainable.
STARS OF THE GAME
— With Jayson Tatum out, Brown was tasked with leading the offensive charge, which he did. Brown scored a team-high 32 points and was in triple-double territory, collecting 13 rebounds and nine assists. Brown also delivered a clutch go-ahead shot in the game’s final minute, which proved to be critical in his 44-minute showing.
— Brogdon played reserve unit leader as he’s done on countless occasions this season, scoring 24 points in 36 minutes played.
— Mitchell delivered an on-brand performance, finishing as the game-high scorer with 40 points alongside 11 rebounds and four assists.
FanDuel Sportsbook set the over/under on Smart’s 3-pointers made at 1.5 with -156 odds on the Over. By halftime Smart cleared those odds, knocking down three of his first seven shot attempts from beyond the arc. A $100 wager placed on last season’s Defensive Player of the Year would’ve resulted in a $164.10 total payout.
The Celtics will get an off day to prepare for Wednesday’s home matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers. Tip off from TD Garden is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.