CLEVELAND (AP) — Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart each scored 21 points, and the Boston Celtics broke away from a fourth-quarter tie to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers 116-106 on Tuesday night.
Kyrie Irving (rest) didn’t play for Boston, but the Celtics snapped a four-game losing streak and are 11-2 without their leading scorer.
Al Horford had 19 points, including eight in the fourth quarter and the go-ahead layup early in the period.
The Celtics ended the game with a 24-14 run also sparked by three-point plays from Smart and Marcus Morris to pull away.
Collin Sexton led Cleveland with 24 points and Jordan Clarkson scored 18.
The Celtics’ slide dropped them to fifth in the Eastern Conference with seven games to play in the regular season. Boston also lost four straight Feb. 21-27.
Cleveland trailed 82-70 late in the third quarter, but Sexton scored nine points and Marquese Chriss’ 3-pointer tied the game at 92 with 9 minutes to play.
Horford had a basket in the lane and Gordon Hayward scored on a layup off a turnover. Horford’s 3-pointer pushed the lead to 100-94.
Tatum returned after missing Sunday’s loss to San Antonio because of a bruised back and scored all his points in the first half. He was 9 of 14 and hit three 3-pointers.
Horford missed the two previous games with a sore left knee.
Irving played his first six seasons with Cleveland. The six-time All-Star demanded a trade following the 2016-17 season and was dealt to Boston. He hasn’t played in Cleveland since the 2017-18 opener.
Kevin Love entered 27 points short of 12,000 in his career. He scored 10 points and had 11 rebounds, but was 3 of 13 from the field.
The arena’s Humungotron went out late in the first quarter, forcing the teams and fans to use the upper-corner scoreboards to keep track of things. The video and numbers returned soon after halftime and drew a loud ovation from the crowd.
Celtics: Hayward had 15 points and Morris added 14. … G Terry Rozier, a Northeast Ohio native who played high school basketball in suburban Shaker Heights, scored 11 points.
Cavaliers: Cedi Osman had 15 points and Larry Nance Jr. added 13. … Coach Larry Drew said G Matthew Dellavedova, who has been out since March 6 because of a concussion, could miss the rest of the season. Dellavedova returned from a recent road trip because he wasn’t feeling well and has yet to go through any on-court activity.
Celtics: Host the Indiana Pacers on Friday.
Cavaliers: At the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday.
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