April 5, 2013

NBA: Cavs end skid, beat Celtics

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Cleveland Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson, left, drives to the basket against Boston Celtics forward Chris Wilcox (44) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Friday, April 5, 2013. Thompson had 29 points in the Cavaliers 97-91 win. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

AP

BOSTON (AP) — Tristan Thompson had career highs with 29 points and 17 rebounds and the Cleveland Cavaliers ended a 10-game losing streak with a 97-91 victory over the Boston Celtics on Friday.

Alonzo Gee also had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who held Boston to 16 points in the third quarter and held on for their first win since March 12.

The Cavaliers avoided their 11th straight loss, which would have been the second-longest streak under coach Byron Scott.

Wayne Ellington scored 12 points and Kyrie Irving added 11 points for Cleveland in his third game back since missing eight with a sprained shoulder.

The Celtics played without team captain Paul Pierce, who was out with a sore ankle.

The move may have cost the slumping Celtics. Boston has dropped eight of 11 and is clinging to the seventh playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Jeff Green scored 23 points for Boston and Shavlik Randolph had 16 points before fouling out with 6:57 left in the fourth. Brandon Bass scored 12 and Avery Bradley had 10 points for Boston.

Cleveland outrebounded Boston 58-42 and outscored the Celtics in the paint 52-38.

The Cavaliers hadn't won since beating Washington 95-90. They held a 14-point lead against the Celtics last week in Cleveland before Boston rallied and won on Green's layup at the buzzer.

Cleveland held on to this lead — firmly. The Celtics never recovered after going without a field goal for more than 5 minutes in the third quarter.

Cleveland held Boston to 16 points in the third period, going 6 for 22 from the floor. The Celtics started the period well with a 10-3 run for a 62-55 lead, then went without a field goal for the next 5:18. Cleveland outscored Boston 13-1 during the span with the Celtics' only point coming on a free throw made by Randolph with 4:45 left in the third.

It was Randolph's 14th point of the game, but he missed on his second free throw attempt then had to go to the bench barely a minute later when he was called for his fifth foul. Thompson made both foul shots to put the Cavaliers up 68-63 with 3:19 left in the period.

Jordan Crawford's 3-pointer with 32 seconds left somewhat salvaged a dismal period for the Celtics, who trailed 74-68 entering the fourth.

The Cavaliers scored the first eight points of the fourth, including a pair of free throws by C.J. Miles after taking a flagrant foul from Jason Terry at midcourt. Boston never got closer than four points the of the way.

Notes: Thompson's career high in points is 27 against the Nets last March. His rebounding high was 16 against Houston in January. ... The Celtics were without Kevin Garnett, who missed his eighth straight game because of inflammation in his left ankle. ... The Cavaliers outrebounded the Celtics 28-21 in the first half, playing to a 52-all tie after two periods. ... Boston made just eight of 15 foul shots in the first half.

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