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May 13, 2024 9:53 pm

Celts hold off Donovan Mitchell-less Cavs for 3-1 edge

cavaliers, celtics

Jayson Tatum tossed in a game-high 33 points and Jaylen Brown finished with 27 as the visiting Boston Celtics beat the undermanned Cleveland Cavaliers 109-102 on Monday in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The victory gives the Celtics a 3-1 edge in the best-of-seven series. The teams will play Game 5 on Wednesday in Boston.

Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland’s leading scorer, didn’t play because of a leg injury. Mitchell, who averaged 31.7 points per game in the first three contests of the series, strained his left calf in the final minutes of Boston’s 106-93 victory in Game 3 on Saturday.

The Cavaliers fell to 12-16 in games Mitchell missed this season.

Boston had a 98-83 lead following a Brown basket with 7:56 to play, but Cleveland kept things interesting by scoring the next eight points. The Cavaliers used a 12-2 run to pull within five points with 3:14 to play, and they trailed 102-97 until Brown extended Boston’s lead to eight points by making a 3-pointer with 1:09 remaining.

Jrue Holiday added 16 points for the top-seeded Celtics, who held Cleveland to 43.6 percent shooting from the field (41 of 94). Holiday made 4 of 8 3-point attempts.

Fourth-seeded Cleveland received 30 points and seven assists from Darius Garland plus 19 points apiece from Evan Mobley and Caris LeVert. Mobley also had a team-high nine rebounds.

Boston made 21 of its 24 free throw attempts. Cleveland was only 5 of 7 from the foul line.

The Celtics led 37-30 at the end of one quarter and 62-57 at halftime. Tatum, who finished the game with 11 rebounds, led all scorers with 23 points in the first half.

Cleveland took a 65-64 lead — its first edge since early in the opening quarter — on a Garland layup with 9:24 remaining in the third, but Boston answered with a 7-0 spurt to go up by six. The Celtics had an 88-78 advantage after three quarters.

–Field Level Media

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