Sports and Scores
 
NBA Basketball
Scoreboard|Stats|Standings|Teams|Players|Player News|Injuries|Transactions

Cavaliers-Celtics Preview

By BRETT HUSTON

STATS Editor

(AP) -- The Boston Celtics went into their lengthy holiday break with three losses in five nights, leaving them grateful for a chance to regroup.

The Cleveland Cavaliers figure to be happy they won't have to wait very long to put their latest defeat behind them.

Both the Celtics and Cavaliers will try to avoid a fourth consecutive loss Saturday at TD Garden, with Boston playing for the first time in six days and Cleveland trying to recover from a considerably more recent heartbreaker.

The Celtics (12-17) blew a 27-point lead in a 107-106 loss to Detroit on Dec. 18, then coughed up an 18-point cushion in falling to Washington 106-99 last Saturday. They were blown out 106-79 at Indiana a night later.

A five-day layoff after Boston's most lopsided loss of the season was exactly what forward Jared Sullinger thought his team needed.

"I thought it helped us out big time because we got to put it in the rear-view mirror," Sullinger told the team's official Twitter feed Friday.

Brad Stevens doesn't think rust will be an issue.

"I've had 13 straight years of this break," the former Butler coach said. "I kind of know how to manage the days leading up to the first game."

The Cavaliers (10-18) have lost five of six, two of which came in particularly grueling fashion. Portland's Damian Lillard hit a 3-pointer with 0.4 seconds left to hand Cleveland a 119-116 loss Dec. 17, then Atlanta's Jeff Teague knocked down a 20-footer as time expired Thursday to give the Hawks a 127-125 double-overtime win at Quicken Loans Arena.

"He made a tough play," said Kyrie Irving, who finished with 40 points and nine assists but also six of the Cavaliers' season high-tying 24 turnovers. "It's definitely a heartbreaker."

Irving has accounted for four of the 13 games this season in which a player has put up at least 39 points - no one else has more than two - but his last two trips to Boston haven't gone well. He missed 16 of 20 shots in a 97-91 Cavaliers win April 5, then had two of his 18 points after halftime in a 103-86 loss Nov. 29.

Cleveland is 5-1 this season when Irving scores more than 30 points and 5-17 when he doesn't.

Conversely, big scoring efforts from Dion Waiters have meant little. The second-year guard returned from a three-game absence Thursday to put up 20 points off the bench, but the Cavaliers fell to 4-13 when Waiters cracks double figures - including a 21-point performance in Boston last month.

They're 6-5 when he's been held to fewer than 10 or hasn't played.

Regardless of the results, Irving's and Waiters' ability to score has Stevens' attention.

"I think they've figured out what they do best, and they have a couple of guards who can get wherever they want," Stevens said.

Boston's Jeff Green has struggled recently, averaging 10.6 points on 37.7 percent shooting over his last five games, but he's been a huge problem for a Cleveland team with a revolving door at the small forward position. Green has averaged 25.0 points in his last three against the Cavaliers, including a season-high 31 last month.

While the Celtics wait for Rajon Rondo to recover, their current starting backcourt has made some strides. Avery Bradley has averaged 17.0 points and 51.4 percent shooting in his last five games while Jordan Crawford has had four 20-point games this month.

Crawford had his third career triple-double (11 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists) while Bradley had 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting last month against Cleveland.

Updated December 27, 2013

? © 2014 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

Audio On Demand

Patriots tame Lions - Res…

Patriots tame Lions - Response and Reaction - The Real Postgame Show

Fred Smerlas, Steve DeOssie and Butch Stearns break down all aspects of the Patriots win over the Lions, and take your calls as well.

It Is What It Is Cast: Defense steps up again as Patriots crush Lions

WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price break down the Patriots' 34-9 win over the Lions, the team's seventh win in a row. The defense stepped up again and now gets a crack at Aaron Rodgers next Sunday.

NFL Sunday: Final thoughts and predictions for Pats/Lions

The guys give their final thoughts and predictions leading up to the 1pm matchup with Detroit.

We Hate Dwayne Wade - Mar…

We Hate Dwayne Wade - Marcus Smart injury 11-12-14

How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...

WHDW - Greg Dickerson Joins the Show to talk Celtics

Sam and Ben talk with Greg Dickerson about how fun this year's Celtics team is to watch as well Jeff Green trade ideas.

Kyle Draper, Comcast Sports New England, Celtics will compete for a playoff spot this season

Kyle Draper joins Danny Picard to talk about the Celtics chances this season in the Eastern Conference, last Wednesday's home opener blowout against the Nets, and Rajon Rondo's future in Boston

Brian MacPherson, Provide…

Brian MacPherson, Providence Journal

Red Sox beat writer Brian MacPherson joins Danny Picard to talk about the Red Sox going after Jon Lester and other free agents.

Hot Stove Show 11-20-14

The Hot Stove guys are talking about Pablo Sandoval and Jon Lester's contract offers from the Red Sox. They then por one out for the Giancarlo Stanton rumors being put to bed.

Hot Stove Show 11-13-14

The Hot Stove boys are back again, talking about Jon Lester, Pablo Sandoval, Giancarlo Stanton's b

NESN's Jack Edwards with …

NESN's Jack Edwards with Dale and Holley

Dale and Michael get Jack Edwards' 'state of the B' report and talk about the win over the Blues at the Garden on Tuesday.

Andy Brickley, NESN, talks about the Bruins 2-0 win over St. Louis, 11-19-14

Andy Brickley joined the show and touched on last night's convincing win over a good team, Matt Bartkowski needing a wake up call, and the NHL review process.

Pierre McGuire, NBC Sports. NHL should have a coach's challenge 11-13-14

Pierre joins the guys to talk about the Bruins struggles, the NHL franchise in Las Vegas, and the return of the glow puck!

Boston College Steve Adda…

Boston College Steve Addazio on Florida State 11-21-14

BC's head coach joined the show to preview the Florida State game.

Rodney Harrison on Gronk 11-21-14

Rodney Harrison previewed the Patriots and Lions with the guys.

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines: President Obama's new immigration policy 11-21-14

The top stories of the as recounted by Kirk Minihane.

Christian's Dad, Detectiv…

Christian's Dad, Detective Fauria tales for VICE squad 11-21-14

Detective Fauria tells us the infamous gloryhole story from VICE squad and other stories Christian's past.

Kyle Arrington previews Pats-Lions 11-21-14

Just out of practice, Kyle Arrington joins the guys to preview Pats-Lions

Christian Fauria prank calls Detroit sports radio 97.1 The Ticket; praises nephew Joseph Fauria 11-21-14

Christian in Foxboro returns, this time he's trolling Detroit sports radio station 97.1 The Ticket's Stoney and Bill show . Christian rips Lions fans and asks why his nephew, Joseph, isn't getting the ball more.

Michael Irvin: Bill Belic…

Michael Irvin: Bill Belichick manages people as well as he manages X's and O's

We check in with the playmaker Michael Irvin for his weekly update on all things NFL. We talk to Michael about the Raiders first win, the LeGarrette Blount saga, and how the Pats will do against the Lions this weekend.

Great week turns sour for Jonas Gray as he reportedly gets sent home for being late to practice

Michael and Dale discuss Jonas Gray's tardiness, and try and predict how the running-back will respond and make up for his error.

Which Patriots team do the 2014 Patriots remind you most of?

We talk with Tom E Curran and debate whether or not the Patriots current performance is more reminiscent of the 2004 or 2007 Patriots.

Brandon Alisoglu gives us…

Brandon Alisoglu gives us an analysis of the Lions

Brandon covers the NFL, particularly the Detroit Lions for Bleacher Report. He gives us his thoughts on this Sunday's game and how the Lions stack up against the Patriots.

Cold, Hard Football Talk

Mikey, Villani, Lenny and Kerry Byrne are talking Patriots-Lions and how the team this year stacks up to Patriots teams of the past.

Wonderin' Why the Lions Suck

Some more Musical Mikey Magic to get ready for Sunday's Patriots-Lions game.

UnSportsManLike Podcast -…

UnSportsManLike Podcast - 30 for 30 Ideas 11-21-14

Jerry Thornton's first podcast explores sports stories that would make for interesting 30 for 30 documentaries.

College Puckcast with Andy Merritt and Merrimack coach Mark Dennehy

Andy Merritt of the New England Hockey Journal joined WEEI.com’s Scott McLaughlin to talk about the play of Vermont and Providence, as well as other happenings around Hockey East. Merrimack coach Mark Dennehy also joined the show to talk about his team’s good start, his freshman class and how he uses possession stats.

We Hate Dwyane Wade - Mike Mutnansky Talks Hated Players and Rajon Rondo.

Joining the show today Mut the all-purpose back of WEEI. We talk about players we have hated over the years as well as Rajon Rondo and what is ailing the Celtics.

Michael Irvin: Bill Belic…

Michael Irvin: Bill Belichick manages people as well as he manages X's and O's

We check in with the playmaker Michael Irvin for his weekly update on all things NFL. We talk to Michael about the Raiders first win, the LeGarrette Blount saga, and how the Pats will do against the Lions this weekend.

More from this show

Christian Fauria prank ca…

Christian Fauria prank calls Detroit sports radio WDFN; praises nephew Joseph Fauria

Christian in Foxboro returns, this time he's trolling Detroit sports radio station WDFN's Shep in the Morning Show. Christian rips Lions fans and asks why his nephew, Joseph, isn't getting the ball more.

More from this show

Danny PIcard previews Pat…

Danny PIcard previews Patriots-Lions, 11-22-14

Danny opens the show on Saturday afternoon looking at Sunday's matchup against the Detroit Lions. The Pats added former RB LeGarrette Blount to the line up. Calvin Johnson brings up an interesting match up for the DB's. Jonas Gray showed up late on Friday. And could Reggie Bush be tough for the LB's to cover?

More from this show

Adam Schefter: I'm pickin…

Adam Schefter: I'm picking Detriot 11-21-14

Adam Schefter joins the guys to give his prediction for Pats-Lions, talks about the snow in Buffalo, and the Adrian Peterson saga.

More from this show

Great week turns sour for…

Great week turns sour for Jonas Gray as he reportedly gets sent home for being late to practice

Michael and Dale discuss Jonas Gray's tardiness, and try and predict how the running-back will respond and make up for his error.

More from this show

Weei Writers