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Saturday, January 10, 2009
Celtics' free-fall continues, did the Lakers steal their souls?
If last night had happened during the Celtics' 19-game win streak it still would have been a tall task to come away with a win at Quicken Loans Arena.
Under the current circumstances, it was nearly impossible and it should be no surprise that the Cavs dominated, 98-83 as the Celtics still can't get out of their own way.
Cleveland (29-6) improved its home record to a modest 19-0 start which is been orchestrated by the best player in the NBA, LeBron James.
He had 38 points, seven rebounds, six assists, four steals and three blocks in one of those performances that only James, Dwyane Wade and Kobe can pull off.
Boston (29-9) got a double-double, 18 points and 15 rebounds from Kevin Garnett but like most of the games during this seven losses in nine game slide, nobody else stepped up as the second banana.
Kendrick Perkins had 13 points, Ray Allen had 12 and Paul Pierce had 11.
Sideshow Bob had 14 points and nine boards for the Cavs, Mo Williams (the key to their championship?) scored 13 and Daniel Gibson added 10.
The loss pushes Boston to third in the Eastern Conference as the Magic destroyed the Hawks in a similar early-season conference showdown.
For the game, Cleveland shot 50.8% to Boston's 41.3%. The Cavaliers made half of its 3-pointers (8-of-16) while the C's were 5-of-19. The Cavs led by LeBron's perfect 9-for-9, doubled up the Celtics in made free-throws (24-12).
The good signs in the loss were that Boston outrebounded Cleveland (one of the top rebounding team in the league) by 12 (42-30) and had ten more assists (25-15).
That might be grasping for straws a little bit and it's understandable since Boston's recent play has been downright depressing. Since that Christmas day loss to the Lakers, the Celts have lost their collective mojo.
They have home-and-home sets with the Raptors starting tomorrow in Toronto and then later in the week with the Nets. Both teams are not very good so the C's have to get back on track with at least a split.