CLEVELAND: Kyrie Irving scored 40 points, including 11 in the final 2:33 in the Cavs’ 95-90 victory Tuesday over the Boston Celtics.
Irving dazzled most of the night, but particularly at the end. He scored 15 in the fourth, including the Cavs’ final six. When he and Rajon Rondo chased a loose ball to the Cavs’ end of the court, Rondo caught it and tried bouncing it off Irving before falling out of bounds. Instead, Irving stepped back, caught the ball and laid it in.
He pushed the tempo against an old Celtics team that struggled staying in front of him, finishing one point shy of his career high set earlier this season in a loss at Madison Square Garden.
Tristan Thompson had a season-high 21 points and nine rebounds and Tyler Zeller had 10 rebounds before fouling out late in the game.
Irving made 16 of 24 shots and all seven of his free throws. He added five assists and three rebounds in a brilliant point guard battle against the Celtics’ Rajon Rondo, who had 17 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds.
Kevin Garnett had 16 points for the Celtics and former Ohio State star Jared Sullinger had 12 points and 10 rebounds in his first game back in his home state. Paul Pierce ripped the Cavs for 40 points the last time these two teams met, but he scored just 12 points Tuesday on 3 of 15 shooting. He also fired an airball on a 3-pointer late in the game.