NBA Game Preview: Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics

Mar 1, 2023

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Game: Cleveland Cavaliers @ Boston Celtics

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Odds: Cavaliers +6, Celtics -6

Total: 222

The Boston Celtics are hoping for better fortune when they host the visiting Cavaliers on Wednesday night because they haven’t had much luck versus Cleveland this season. This season, Boston and Cleveland have faced off twice, with the Cavaliers winning both games in overtime. Cleveland won 114-113 in Cleveland on November 2 and 132-123 in Boston on October 28. Darius Garland scored 29 points in the last meeting and handed out 12 assists. Donovan Mitchell contributed 25 points to the victory.

Mitchell, who leads the Cavs in scoring with 27.2 points per game, scored 35 points on Sunday to help Cleveland defeat Toronto 118-93 and snap a three-game losing streak. Mitchell missed his career-high of nine 3-pointers by one, making eight in the victory. Jarrett Allen added 23 points and a game-high 11 rebounds for Cleveland. Evan Mobley and Garland both ended with 18 points.

The Cavaliers, who have the best defense in the NBA, limited their opponent to fewer than 100 points for the 20th time this season. The Cavs lead the NBA in that statistic. Cleveland allows 106.5 points per game this season.

Boston just suffered a road loss to the New York Knicks, 109-94, on Monday night. When Jayson Tatum claimed he was fouled on a 3-point attempt in the fourth quarter, he received his second technical penalty and was ejected from the game. It was Tatum’s first ejection of the season.

The Celtics shot a season-low 21.4 percent (9-of-42) from outside the arc, missing 20 of their first 22 3-point attempts. Boston’s three-game winning streak was snapped as a result of the loss.

One of the other keys to the loss was the disparity at the free-throw line. The Knicks attempted 34 free throws in the game. Boston went to the line just 14 times. Tatum would end up with just 14 points, though he did have nine assists and seven rebounds. He is averaging 30.1 points per game. With Jaylen Brown out of the lineup for personal reasons, Malcolm Brogdon led the Celtics in scoring with 22 points.

Brown is expected to take the court against the Cavaliers tonight, according to Boston head coach Joe Mazzulla. In Boston’s most recent matchup with Cleveland, Brown scored 30 points to lead the Celtics. Boston dropped into second place in the Eastern Conference, 0.5-game behind Milwaukee. The Celtics are six games ahead of fourth-place Cleveland.

Both teams have been experiencing success recently. Cleveland is 8-3 SU in its last 11 games. Boston is 7-2 SU and ATS in its last nine. The Celtics are also 13-2 SU in their last 15 home games. Boston is 6-1 SU in the last seven games against Cleveland at home. The Cavs have had the upper hand in the series recently with five wins in the last seven games against Boston. Cleveland is also 5-2 ATS in those seven games.

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