The signing of Andrew Bogut by the Cleveland Cavaliers has managed to increase the team’s depth by providing badly needed help in the paint. James says you can’t say that because that team won the National Basketball Association title.
The Celtics sit in second place behind the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference standings with a 38-22 record, having lost three of their last four games.
The Celtics have been out-rebounded in 42 of their 60 games this season, with guard Avery Bradley the team’s leading rebounder at 6.7 boards per game.
Looking to stay on top in the East, the Cavs signed free agent point guard Deron Williams before the game.
Irving tied the game on Cleveland’s next possession, but two free throws from Thomas canceled out the layup. Jae Crowder was fouled on the rebound and made both for the final margin. They added Derrick Williams on February 9, and in seven games he’s immediately turned himself into a rotation player coach Tyronn Lue might very well use in the playoffs.
Three-pointers by James and Richard Jefferson were bookends to a 3-ball from Boston’s Jaylen Brown, leaving the score 82-79 in Cleveland’s favor with more than eight minutes of action still left in the game.
The roster restocking started with the trade with the Atlanta Hawks for one of the league’s premier 3-point specialists, Kyle Korver.
The Cavaliers dominated the Celtics in their first two matchups in Cleveland this season, averaging 126 points in a pair of wins. Kevin Love had knee surgery on Valentine’s Day. Boston took advantage of his absence, getting into the lane and outscoring Cleveland 30-26 in the paint in the first half.
Barnes could be a better find for the Warriors, who is averaging 7.6 points with 2.8 assists and 5.4 rebounds.
Malcolm Brogdon scored 20 points to lead Milwaukee, and All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo scored just nine on 4-of-13 shooting.