The Boston Celtics looked to avoid a letdown performance against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night after defeating the Miami Heat a day earlier in the season opener.
And for three quarters, the C’s looked like they’d become the first 2-0 team in the NBA.
But J.J. Hickson and Daniel Gibson helped ease the sting of losing Lebron James for Cleveland as the C’s lost, 95-87, after scoring a mere 14 points in the fourth quarter, allowing the Cavs to steal the win at Quicken Loans Arena.
Rajon Rondo and the Big 3 did all they could Wednesday, but a dismal fourth quarter by the entire Celtics squad, in which the Celtics shot 6 of 16, resulted in their 11 point third quarter led vanquishing. Rondo led Boston’s scorers with 18 points as Kevin Garnett grabbed 15 rebounds, which may be the only positive from the loss as Garnett’s rebounds are a good indication of his improved health.
A day after playing in a playoff-like atmosphere at the Garden, the Celtics didn’t have enough stamina to finish off the new-look Cavaliers as the Cavs were looking to prove a message in its home opener.
We don’t need the King.
So for one night, the predicted bottom-dwellers of the Eastern Conference had a reason to be hopeful as confetti fell from the ceiling (from last year’s playoffs, which wasn’t used thanks to the Celtics) and owner Dan Gilbert pumped his fists in his luxury box.
Early season tally, Cleveland: 2, Boston: 1 and Lebron: 0. But whose really keeping count?