LeBron's Cavaliers Are Not Ready, Despite Meaningless Win Over Celtics

  • LeBron's Cavaliers Are Not Ready, Despite Meaningless Win Over Celtics

LeBron's Cavaliers Are Not Ready, Despite Meaningless Win Over Celtics

The two teams play again on Sunday in Atlanta.

Adding injury to insult, Kyrie Irving came away from the game with concerns about his surgically repaired left knee.

Towns had 40 points on 17-of-22 shooting from the floor and grabbed 21 rebounds, one shy from tying his career high. "Obviously, we needed him down the stretch".

The win vaulted Atlanta past the Milwaukee Bucks for fifth spot in the Eastern Conference standings.

He also joined Vince Carter as the second Raptor to reach 2,000 points in a season. The Hawks will be in the postseason for the 10th straight season.

Entering Thursday night's game against the Atlanta Hawks, the Celtics were looking to get back on the winning tract, but looked just as lifeless and uninspired as they did against the Cavaliers. "I think JR and Korver and Kevin and those guys should play a little bit because they've been out for so long and just try to keep JR's rhythm and establish Kevin's rhythm and the same thing with Kyle".

"You expect us to want to get better", James said.

Isaiah Thomas' 35 points were not enough for the Celtics, who allowed 71 points in the first half in Atlanta. Clint Capela and Lou Williams each had 18 points, and Bobby Brown made four 3-pointers and finished with 16 points.

"Ball movement, definitely ball movement (was the key)", Millsap said.

"Those games will get a whole bigger meaning at the end of the season with home-court advantage [on the line] which is what we are trying to accomplish here", Ilyasova added. Thompson got hurt Tuesday against Orlando and missed Wednesday's game in Boston, snapping his streak of consecutive games played at 447.

The defending National Basketball Association champions continue to be the one of the league's most talented, yet bipolar teams. They beat Cleveland 114-110 on Friday night as well. Boston answered with a pair of treys by Smart and cut the margin to 32-24 after the opening period.

Another day, another shocking loss to the Atlanta Hawks. A fully-loaded and rested Cavaliers squad, favored by 15.5 points, laid an egg.

"These guys are an incredible group", Budenholzer said of the Cavs. "I was really pleased with the way we came out".

Cleveland erased a double-digit second quarter deficit to take a 67-58 lead with 6:54 left in the third quarter. But Avery Bradley is of the mind that the Celtics need to get their heads right even more than the rotation. "We're just going to keep fighting".

Boston was within 121-116 after Avery Bradley made three free throws with 26.3 remaining.

After Irving's two free throws with 10.4 seconds left pushed the margin back up to five points, Paul Millsap was fouled behind the three-point line and converted with 8.3 seconds left.

"It's hard to explain the way we kind of play - how we come up short all the time as far as just energy-wise".

Boston coach Brad Stevens liked what he saw, though, from his bench.

Howard has been a force on the glass, ranking in the top five in the league in rebounding, while Paul Millsap was named an All-Star for the fourth straight season, all with the Atlanta Hawks.

And then after Bazemore tied Irving up for a jump ball with 4.9 seconds to go on a play in which appeared both Bazemore and Millsap (who was also tying up Irving) had a foot out of bounds. Sefolosha and F Kris Humphries were inactive for the Hawks.