Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Celtics make 25-point lead stand up, tie series

Guard Rajon Rondo, who tied Bob Cousy’s Celtics playoff record with 19 assists, looks to pass around Antawn Jamison.

Getty Images

Guard Rajon Rondo, who tied Bob Cousy’s Celtics playoff record with 19 assists, looks to pass around Antawn Jamison.

Celtics 26 26 31 21 104
at Cavaliers 22 26 12 26 86
Series tied at 1

CLEVELAND — The window hasn't closed on the Celtics. It's still wide open.

Rajon Rondo tied Bob Cousy's team playoff record with 19 assists, Ray Allen scored 22 and the Celtics, showing they're still dangerous despite their years, opened a 25-point lead in the fourth then survived Cleveland's comeback for a 104-86 win Monday night to even their semifinal series at 1.

After blowing an 11-point lead in the third quarter of Game 1, the Celtics almost squandered a much bigger one.

They led 91-66 with 9:08 left, and some Cleveland fans had departed.

"We're going to the bar," one said as he bounded up the steps.

But the Cavs scored 15 straight and pulled within 93-83 on LeBron James' basket with 3:13 left.

Boston closed with an 11-3 spurt.

James scored 24 and Antawn Jamison 16 for Cleveland, outscored 31-12 in the third.

The Celtics seemed in control with their 25-point bulge but got complacent and found themselves having to scramble down the stretch when they could have been resting.

"We were playing the clock instead of the game and got stagnant," Rondo said.

Leading 93-83, Boston regrouped. Rondo and Allen scored, then Kevin Garnett completed a three-point play to make it 100-84.

Garnett finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Paul Pierce scored 14.

Rasheed Wallace, called out by coach Doc Rivers after shooting 1-for-5 in the opener, made his first five shots — three of them 3-pointers — and scored 17 off the bench.

BOSTON (104): Pierce 4-10 4-4 14, Garnett 8-21 2-2 18, Perkins 5-6 0-0 10, Rondo 5-10 2-4 13, R.Allen 8-15 3-4 22, Wallace 7-8 0-0 17, T.Allen 1-4 2-2 4, Davis 2-2 2-2 6, Finley 0-1 0-0 0, Daniels 0-1 0-0 0, Robinson 0-0 0-0 0, S.Williams 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 40-78 15-18 104.

CLEVELAND (86): James 7-15 10-15 24, Jamison 6-11 2-4 16, O'Neal 4-10 1-2 9, M.Williams 1-9 2-3 4, Parker 2-7 0-0 6, Varejao 2-3 4-5 8, West 1-4 2-2 4, Hickson 4-6 5-7 13, Moon 1-3 0-0 2, Gibson 0-1 0-0 0, J.Williams 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 28-70 26-38 86.

3-Point GoalsBoston 9-19 (Wallace 3-4, R.Allen 3-7, Pierce 2-5, Rondo 1-2, Finley 0-1), Cleveland 4-21 (Parker 2-4, Jamison 2-5, West 0-1, Gibson 0-1, Moon 0-1, J.Williams 0-1, James 0-4, M.Williams 0-4). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsBoston 51 (Garnett 10), Cleveland 44 (Varejao, James 7). AssistsBoston 30 (Rondo 19), Cleveland 17 (M.Williams 7). Total FoulsBoston 31, Cleveland 16. TechnicalsPerkins, Pierce, Varejao, Cleveland defensive three second. Flagrant Fouls—Varejao. A20,562 (20,562).

suns' lopez sits: Phoenix center Robin Lopez declared himself out for Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals against San Antonio on Monday but says he can play at some point in the series. Lopez hasn't played since March 26 because of a bulging disk that cut off a nerve to the right leg.

bulls fire coach: Chicago fired coach Vinny Del Negro after a late-season altercation with executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson and a second straight first-round playoff exit. The Bulls went 41-41 in both seasons under Del Negro. Along with working with Derrick Rose, a new coach will be joining a team armed with salary-cap space to offer a maximum contract in a free-agent class that could include James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. The Chicago Tribune reported that Kentucky coach John Calipari won't be considered.

around the league: There's no indication Pat Riley is unhappy with coach Erik Spoelstra, but the Heat president wouldn't close the door on resuming his Hall of Fame coaching career. "I'll do whatever is in the best interest of building the team here. Period," said Riley, 65. … The 76ers conducted a second formal interview, meeting with Avery Johnson in Houston. Johnson, 45, is a studio analyst for ABC/ESPN. He was 194-70 as Mavs coach in 2004-08. On Saturday, president and general manager Ed Stefanski met with Doug Collins in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Celtics make 25-point lead stand up, tie series 05/03/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 12:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays vs. Mariners, 7:10 Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Austin Pruitt (50) in the dugout during the ninth inning of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 7-3.
  2. Rays waste repeated opportunities in 5-3 loss to Blue Jays

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Rays manager Kevin Cash made a case for urgency before Thursday's game, in both actions and words, making significant changes to the structure of the lineup and sincere comments about time running short.

    Trevor Plouffe of the Rays reacts as he pops out with the bases loaded in the sixth inning. [Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images]
  3. Confederate statue: Why Bucs, Lightning, Rays took a stand


    They didn't want another Charlottesville.

    Marc Rodriguez, a member of the "Florida Fight for $15" organization, stands in protest along with other activists demanding the Confederate  monument be removed from the old Hillsborough County Courthouse in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  4. Kevin Cash: 'We've got to turn it around. ... Time is of the essence'


    The question to manager Kevin Cash was about a rematch with the Mariners this weekend at the Trop, but he made clear this afternoon that with his Rays losing nine of their last 12 that they have to treat every game as essential.

    "We've got to start playing good baseball games whether we match up well against that team or not," Kevin Cash said.
  5. Lightning wing J.T. Brown on why he donated to remove Confederate statue


    Lightning wing J.T. Brown was back in his Minneapolis offseason home over the weekend when he saw on TV the violent protests in Charlottesville over the removal of a Confederate statue.

    J.T. Brown decided to get involved, donating $1,500 to assist in removing a Confederate statue in Tampa.