Cavaliers fall to experienced Celtics 103-96
BY STONE LEXINGTON
CAVALIERS BEAT WRITER
(CLEVELAND, OH) - The future is on the dawn of the horizon for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
They’ll likely have a top three draft pick to get a star in the upcoming NBA Draft, most assuredly from the Duke camp, but they’ve also got several young stars currently on the roster trying to make their names in the NBA.
Those young bucks include No. 8 overall draft pick from last year Collin Sexton, who had scored in double figures 45 times entering Tuesday (second-most in NBA among all rookies), and Cedi Osman, who figures to be an integral part of the Cavaliers’ future.
On Tuesday night against the Eastern Conference contending Boston Celtics, the Cavs simply didn’t have enough horse power for the boys from Beantown, falling to the Boston-led, Kyrie Irving-less Celtics 103-96 in Quicken Loans Arena.
The Cavs were competitive in the first half until the final moments of the second quarter. Trailing 53-51 with under a minute to play until halftime. However, Celtics center Al Horford drained a three-pointer, followed by a Terry Rozier trey that gave Boston a 59-51 lead at the half. The Cavs, though, wouldn’t go down without a fight against the superior Celtics.
When Sexton sunk a floater with 6:49 remaining in the third quarter, Cleveland had regained the lead, 65-64. And when the Celtics went up by as many as 10 points in the third quarter, it looked like they were primed to pull away from the Cavs. Yet, Cleveland trailed just 85-79 when the third quarter ended.
When Cavs guard Jordan Clarkson got the fourth quarter started with a three-pointer, Cleveland trailed by a slim 85-82 deficit. The Cavs were still within three points with just over six minutes to play, 94-91, but Boston guard Marcus Smart sank back-to-back buckets to put the Celtics up 99-91. When Boston forward Jayson Tatum converted a layup with four minutes remaining, Boston reclaimed a double-digit lead and never looked back.
Sexton led Cleveland with 27 points, five rebounds and three assists. Alec Burks chipped-in 21 points and four rebounds.
Osman didn’t suit up on Tuesday, sitting out the game against Boston with a sprained ankle. He had been on a scoring tear over his last four games, averaging 21.4 points on 55 percent shooting form the field. Without Osman’s scoring punch, the Cavs weren’t able to crack the century mark.
The Cavs will look to produce a better offensive output in the Nation’s Capital on Friday in a meeting with the Washington Wizards.
POSTED 02/05/2019 22:19