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Recap: Celtics blow another lead, survive what should have been a blowout

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) December 28, 2013 Recaps 7 Comments

bass vs cleveland

Before today’s game, we learned the Cleveland Cavaliers had suspended Andrew Bynum “indefinitely” for conduct detrimental to the team.  For three quarters of today’s game, the Cavaliers participated in “conduct detrimental to the team”… also known as “playing basketball.”  The Celtics led by 20 with a minute to go in the 3rd, but that lead was slowly whittled down to 2 with under a minute to go.  But Brandon Bass blocked a Dion Waiters drive with less than 10 seconds left in the game, and the Celtics held on for a 103-100 win.

The Celtics were outscored 34-18 in the fourth quarter, which continues a recent trend of the Celtics blowing 20 point leads.  They managed to hold on this time and win what should have been a blowout.

The Green:

Brandon Bass hit a 3.  I repeat…. Brandon Bass hit a 3.  This is only the second time anyone has been able to say that.

Jeff Green was on fire early.  He was 5-8 in the first half for 15 points.  Unfortunately, he was 0-4 in the second for 4 points as the Cavs keyed on him and prevented the C’s from getting him the ball in good scoring positions.

Avery Bradley had a nice game.  18 points on 50% shooting with 8 rebounds and 3 assists.

I’ll overlook a horribly unnecessarily flashy pass by Jordan Crawford down the stretch to highlight his 19 point, 5 rebound, 5 assist game.

How about Kris Humphries, who went from DNP to solid contributor?  10 points and 3 rebounds today.

Back to Brandon Bass, who is an unsung hero in this game.  He not only had that huge block at the end, but he had a couple of big rebounds to help seal things.

The Gross:

The Celtics shot 26% in the 4th quarter and turned the ball over 8 times for 11 Cavs points.  It’s one thing to allow the opponent to shoot 60% in a quarter, it’s another to aid that by turning the ball over and hand them layups.  If a team gets hot, they get hot.  But the Celtics damn near gift wrapped this one.

Anderson Varejao got hit with an elbow by Jared Sullinger in the 3rd quarter.  He hit the deck, play went to the other end, Avery Bradley got the ball, finished an uncontested dunk, and Varejao didn’t move.

Was he knocked out?  No.  Was he bleeding?  no.  Was he concussed and unable to stand or finish the game? No, he stayed in and continued.

What happened?  He’s a bitch, that’s what happened.  I’m incensed by the move more than if it was a straight flop, because he sat there and watched an opponent dunk it when he could have gotten up and contested the shot.

I (and many others) joke about Varejao’s flopping, but he’s also a really good player that can really help a team.  That move, though, was an embarrassment.  It’s indicative of the kind of horrendous mess the Cavaliers have become.

The Greenlights:

Bradley with a pretty pass over the top to Sullinger

Green and 1…. after 6 bounces

Jordan Crawford pulls up from Memorial Drive

The Grid:

Kyrie Irving: 32 points (59% FG).  12 points (5-7 fg) in the 4th.

Jared Sullinger:  0-7 (0-2 3-pt), 1 reb in the 2nd half.

Points in the paint:  Cleveland 40 – Boston 28

The Celtics have the Al Horford-less Hawks and the Rose-less Bulls next before heading out for a brutal Western Conference road trip.  The win tonight is nice, and they can maybe beat Atlanta and/or Chicago, but then it’s going to be a mess.  So enjoy this one, regardless of how badly they almost blew it.

Box Score

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  • Chuck Da buck

    Can’t believe Stevens is dogging vitor lately it’s starting to grind my gears. If he played today we woulda won by 60.

  • 76th

    Why the hell didn’t Bradley pass the ball to the open Bass under the rim on that last possession before he got fouled and missed a free throw to NOT make it a 2-possession game?! Just pissed me off

    • Chuck Da buck

      That got me mad too he should have atleast threw the ball in the air so time runs out he was trying to get the points at the expense of winning the game. It’s def a losing play.

      • Robert Hodgman

        Avery is playing for contract. It’s been obvious all year, and is as simple as that.

        • Chuck Da buck

          Ya definately he’s lucky he’s been hitting those midrange jumpers. I also noticed him always stealing our bigs rebounds which i thought it was good effort but then he starts stealing them out of people’s hands even loosing it outta bounds that’s when you realize he’s doing it to try and get paid. Didnt think he was that type of player but its as clear as day when u look at the situation.

    • Alex Costa

      THIS. I have no idea what the hell Bradley was thinking… HUMP and BASS were open under the basket and instead, he held onto the ball in order to get to the FT line… Wow…

  • Rod Shaftwell

    Not that the Celtics did much to help themselves in the 4th quarter, but there were some seriously strange calls by the officials as the game neared its end.