Cleveland, OH — The mental lapse from Jaylen Brown and Joe Mazzulla to not call an immediate timeout proved costly in this one.
The Cleveland Cavaliers escaped Wednesday night, winning 114-113 in overtime on their home floor. The Cavaliers backcourt played their first full game together and combined for 54 points and 18 assists en route to the victory.
The Boston Celtics had their chances in this one, however. Using their ability to create mismatches early and often against bigger lineups, the Celtics held two different double digit leads. With that said, the Cavaliers would answer each Boston run and never allowed the deficit to get out of reach.
At the 8-minute mark of the third quarter, the Celtics opened up their largest lead at 66-54. The team crumbled from there, however, as the Cavaliers orchestrated a 12-0 run over the next 3 minutes, scoring all 12 in the paint.
Cleveland went on to outscore Boston 56-42 in the paint, and the Cavaliers were able to create sustainable, easy looks by getting their bigs involved. Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley finished with 15 points and 14 points, respectively.
As for Boston, Jaylen Brown led the way with 30 points on 26 shots.The bench kept the Celtics in this one, as Grant Williams and Malcolm Brogdon pitched in 15 and 11 each off the bench. The Celtics chose to employ Williams for much of the overtime period, but were unable to get any scoring production from him or Horford.
The Celtics defense has been much improved over the last 2 games, a point of emphasis from Joe Mazzulla.
Boston will now return home to play the Chicago Bulls friday at the TD Garden.