Cleveland, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Marcus Smart scored 19 points, Isaiah Thomas added 17 and the Boston Celtics defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 99-90 on Friday night in the opener of a home-and-home set.
Avery Bradley netted 15 points, Tyler Zeller supplied 13 points and six rebounds and Evan Turner provided 13 assists and six boards for Boston, which has won five of its last six games.
The Celtics are tied with the Nets for the seventh and eighth seeds in the Eastern Conference. Indiana is a game back of both teams.
LeBron James and Kevin Love did not play in the fourth quarter.
"Obviously, they didn't play Love or LeBron in the fourth quarter, but we took a pretty good punch from them in the third," Boston coach Brad Stevens said.
Love posted 19 points and six rebounds, while James tallied 14 points and seven assists for the Cavaliers, who had won eight of their last nine games coming in but held out Kyrie Irving due to a hip injury.
Cleveland clinched the East's No. 2 seed on Wednesday.
"It was a good game for us," Cavs coach David Blatt said. "We got a chance to play some guys that haven't seen the floor a lot."
Boston had lost a 16-point lead during the early stages of the second half by the end of the third, but regained control of the contest with a 9-2 spurt early in the fourth.
Smart's floater capped the swing for a 90-82 Celtics cushion at the 7:20 mark of the period.
Cleveland never got within less than six the rest of the way.
Smart knocked down a pair of early 3-pointers and poured in eight quick points as Boston raced out to a 16-4 start. It was up 28-17 following a quarter of play and 54-40 at the break.
Mike Miller finished off a 15-2 surge with a triple to tie the game at 68-68 late in the third.
These two teams will meet again Sunday in Boston ... The Celtics have won six straight on the road, their longest since a six-game stretch from Nov. 22-Dec. 15, 2010 ... Boston scored 15 points off 22 Cleveland turnovers ... Brandon Bass scored 12 points for the Celtics.