BOSTON (AP) — Jaylen Brown scored 20 of his 33 points in the third quarter and the Boston Celtics snapped their three-game losing streak yesterday by cruising to a 141-103 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Kemba Walker added 21 points, Daniel Theis scored 17, Carsen Edwards had 15 and Marcus Smart had 12 for Boston, which posted a season high in points in a half, taking a 73-51 edge into intermission. Brown played just 19 minutes.
“We needed a win,” Brown said. “We lost three in a row. Being back on our floor, we wanted to make sure we came out with great intensity and we did.”
Collin Sexton led Cleveland with 13 points, far below his team-leading average of 26.8 per game, as the Cavaliers’ three-game winning streak ended.
Coming off impressive back-to-back victories over the Brooklyn Nets in which they scored 147 and 125 points, the Cavaliers were simply never in this one.
Boston pushed the ball out on the fast break, getting several easy looks that it converted while the Cavaliers missed 10 of their initial 13 shots.
“I thought our defensive intensity was good for most of the game and I thought our offence fed off of it,” Boston coach Brad Stevens said.
Brown made it look easy in his limited playing time. He’s scored 25 or more in four straight games, the longest stretch of his career.
“He’s in a great rhythm scoring,” Stevens said.
Behind Smart’s 10 points and Brown’s nine, the Celtics shot 60 per cent and pulled to a 38-21 lead after the opening quarter.
They pushed it to 41-21 on Walker’s three-pointer on the first possession of the second quarter. “We can’t get complacent. We won three games in a row,” said Cleveland guard Jarrett Allen. “We came out flat, almost like we expected to win. We have to come out hungry.”
The Celtics used a 15-0 spree to pull ahead 96-59 on Walker’s three-pointer from the left wing that sailed through the net as he was falling to the floor with just over six minutes left in the third quarter. It came a possession after Brown nailed a three from directly in front of Cleveland’s bench.