BOSTON — LeBron James quieted a Celtics crowd that had come to have a good time Paul Pierce, scoring 24 factors with 10 assists and eight rebounds and serving to give new-look Cleveland a 121-99 victory over Boston on Sunday in a person efficiency paying homage to the rivalry’s heyday.
And this time, Pierce was sitting courtside in road garments, unable to do something about it.
James shook off a first-quarter leg harm and scored 13 factors within the second quarter, eight of them throughout a 13-2 run that turned a 1-point deficit right into a double-digit lead. The Celtics made it 64-55 on the primary basket of the third quarter however by no means bought inside 10 factors once more.
Because the Cavaliers opened a 27-point lead halfway by the fourth, the group started chanting, “We would like Paul Pierce!” However he remained in his seat, awaiting the postgame ceremony that may elevate his No. 34 to the TD Backyard rafters. He’s the 23rd particular person within the historical past of the Celtics, the N.B.A.’s most-decorated franchise, to be honored that means.
The present Celtics, who’ve spent a lot of the season in first place within the East, might have used him.
Terry Rozier scored 21 factors with 9 assists, and Kyrie Irving scored 18 towards his former staff earlier than sitting out the fourth quarter as the sport grew to become a runaway. The Celtics have misplaced three of their final 4 video games, falling behind Toronto within the Jap Convention playoff race. The Cavaliers, who’ve received three straight, are 5 and a half video games behind Boston.