Irving Helps Celtics Cruise Past Cavaliers Friday
By DOUG ALDEN
BOSTON (AP) – Kyrie Irving scored 29 points in the first three quarters and the Celtics topped their season scoring high for the second straight game, routing the Cleveland Cavaliers 128-95 Friday night.
Marcus Morris scored 15, Jayson Tatum had 13 points and Aron Baynes finished with 10 points and nine rebounds for the Celtics, who had all five starters score in double figures and broke 100 points before the fourth quarter.
Boston took the game over in the third quarter, making 6 of 8 3-pointers and outscoring Cleveland 39-20 in the period.
Marcus Smart had 12 points and seven assists and Gordon Hayward added 14 points off the bench before the Celtics reserves took over and finished off the short-handed Cavaliers, topping Boston’s previous high of 124 points scored in a win at New Orleans on Monday.
Tristan Thompson had 13 points and 12 rebounds, his fifth double-double in six games for Cleveland, and Jordan Clarkson scored 16. Alec Burks added 15 points in his Cavs’ debut and Collin Sexton also scored 15.
The Celtics closed out the first half on a 15-5 run, taking a 62-52 lead on Morris’ 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Boston kept it going from outside in the third quarter, starting with another 3-pointer by Irving. Morris, who made all three free throws after drawing a foul with 9:09 left, added a 3-pointer to put the Celtics up 77-61 and Smart hit a 3 a few minutes later to stretch the margin to 82-62.
Irving and Hayward made back-to-back 3-pointers and Hayward converted a three-point play with 2:27 left in the third to put Boston up 95-70.
Terry Rozier topped it off with one more 3-pointer, just beating the buzzer and putting Boston up 101-72 after three.
Cavaliers: Went 3-11 in November. . Burks was playing his first game for Cleveland after coming over from Utah in a trade for G Kyle Korver. . Sam Dekker (left ankle sprain), G George Hill (right shoulder sprain) and F David Nwaba (sore right knee) were all out for Cleveland.
Celtics: Rozier finished with 10 points. . F Al Horford got the night off to rest and G Jaylen Brown was out with a lower back bruise.
Cavaliers: Home Saturday night against the Toronto Raptors.
Celtics: Visit Minnesota on Saturday night.
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports