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LeBron, Cavaliers rally past Celtics

BOSTON — LeBron James scored 24 to lead the Cavaliers to an 89-77 victory over the Celtics on Tuesday night in an uneventful rematch of their bruising first-round playoff series last season.

Kevin Love scored 20 with eight rebounds in his first game back in Boston since Kelly Olynyk yanked his shoulder out of its socket in the playoffs. Jae Crowder, who took a punch in the jaw from J.R. Smith in the series, scored 14 for the Celtics.

Timofey Mozgov had nine points and a season-high 10 rebounds, scoring seven with five rebounds in the third quarter when Cleveland turned a five-point deficit into a 10-point lead.

NEW RONDO APOLOGY: Kings guard Rajon Rondo offered a stronger apology for directing a gay slur at NBA referee Bill Kennedy. Rondo said Monday his actions toward Kennedy on Dec. 3 were out of frustration and not meant to offend anyone. On Tuesday, Rondo said in a statement: "I want to be clear, from the bottom of my heart that I am truly sorry for what I said to Bill. There is no place on or off the court for language that disrespects anyone's sexual orientation."

AROUND THE LEAGUE: Cavaliers coach David Blatt says he is being cautious with point guard Kyrie Irving, who broke his left kneecap during the NBA Finals and has not played since. Blatt said he wants to make sure Irving is ready before he returns. … Bucks guard Greivis Vasquez will be out for at least three months after having surgery on his right ankle to remove a bone spur and loose bodies.

Cavaliers 89, Celtics 77

CLEVELAND (89): James 10-20 4-4 24, Love 7-16 3-4 20, Mozgov 4-5 1-1 9, Dellavedova 1-6 0-0 2, Smith 4-9 0-0 9, Shumpert 2-4 0-0 6, Thompson 0-2 0-0 0, Jefferson 2-3 0-0 5, Williams 4-10 1-1 10, Varejao 2-3 0-0 4, Cunningham 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 36-78 9-10 89.

BOSTON (77): Crowder 5-13 0-0 14, Johnson 2-5 1-2 5, Sullinger 2-9 1-2 5, Thomas 3-15 6-6 12, Bradley 5-12 4-4 17, Jerebko 2-4 0-0 5, Turner 3-8 0-0 6, Olynyk 2-7 0-0 5, Lee 4-8 0-0 8, Young 0-3 0-0 0, Zeller 0-1 0-0 0, Hunter 0-1 0-0 0, Rozier 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 28-87 12-14 77.

Cleveland 23 17 29 20— 89

Boston 25 21 15 16— 77

3-Point GoalsCleveland 8-23 (Love 3-7, Shumpert 2-3, Jefferson 1-1, Smith 1-3, Williams 1-4, Dellavedova 0-2, James 0-3), Boston 9-32 (Crowder 4-9, Bradley 3-10, Jerebko 1-2, Olynyk 1-3, Turner 0-1, Sullinger 0-1, Hunter 0-1, Thomas 0-2, Young 0-3). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsCleveland 55 (Mozgov 10), Boston 49 (Turner 8). AssistsCleveland 17 (Love 5), Boston 18 (Thomas, Turner 4). Total FoulsCleveland 17, Boston 11. TechnicalsBoston defensive three second. A18,624 (18,624).

Nuggets 112, T'wolves 100

DENVER (112): Gallinari 3-7 8-11 15, Faried 7-12 5-8 19, Lauvergne 4-5 2-2 11, Nelson 4-7 0-0 10, Harris 2-5 0-0 4, Arthur 3-6 0-0 6, Foye 7-9 0-0 19, Barton 5-11 3-4 14, Jokic 3-4 0-0 6, Papanikolaou 3-6 2-2 8, M.Miller 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 41-73 20-27 112.

MINNESOTA (100): Wiggins 9-17 4-5 23, Garnett 2-3 2-2 6, Towns 5-7 8-8 18, Rubio 3-6 5-6 13, Martin 1-8 0-0 2, Bjelica 1-3 0-0 2, Dieng 2-4 0-0 4, LaVine 8-18 3-4 20, Prince 1-1 0-0 2, Muhammad 1-5 1-2 3, Rudez 0-0 0-0 0, Payne 2-2 1-2 5, A.Miller 1-3 0-2 2. Totals 36-77 24-31 100.

Denver 27 36 29 20— 112

Minnesota 24 25 31 20— 100

3-Point GoalsDenver 10-18 (Foye 5-6, Nelson 2-3, Lauvergne 1-1, Gallinari 1-2, Barton 1-2, Harris 0-1, Papanikolaou 0-1, M.Miller 0-1, Arthur 0-1), Minnesota 4-10 (Rubio 2-3, Wiggins 1-1, LaVine 1-3, Bjelica 0-1, Martin 0-2). ReboundsDenver 48 (Faried 10), Minnesota 39 (Dieng 9). AssistsDenver 24 (Gallinari, Barton 5), Minnesota 21 (Rubio 9). TechnicalsTowns. A11,323.

LeBron, Cavaliers rally past Celtics 12/15/15 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 15, 2015 11:02pm]
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