Boston, MA – Tristan Thompson posted career-highs of 29 points and 17 rebounds, and the Cleveland Cavaliers broke a 10-game losing streak with a 97-91 win over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.
Alonzo Gee added 16 points and 10 boards for the Cavaliers, who won for the first time since March 12 against Washington.
"We had a lot of games where we should have won, and at the end of the day, took the L," Thompson said. "Tonight was our game to win, so we knew we needed to take it and bring it back to Cleveland."
The Cavs won despite a woeful shooting performance from Kyrie Irving. He went 4-of-20 from the floor and had 11 points and eight assists. He did, though, hit a pair of big 3-point shots during a huge third-quarter spurt.
"My shot wasn't falling, but other guys were hitting shots and it felt good to be out there," Irving said. "Our defensive pressure was up and that's all I can do."
Boston, which got 23 points and nine rebounds from Jeff Green, is 2 1/2 games ahead of Milwaukee for seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Shavlik Randolph tallied 16 points before fouling out for the Celtics, who have lost eight of their last 11 games.
The Celtics played without forward Paul Pierce, who sat out due to a sore left ankle. Kevin Garnett also missed his eighth consecutive game for Boston because of inflammation in his left ankle.
"I wanted Paul to play tonight, but he couldn't," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "Honestly, I would've played him if he could have."
The game was tied at 52 at the half, but Boston struggled in the pivotal third quarter by going 6-of-22 from the field. The Cavs used a big 13-1 run to take the lead for good.
Avery Bradley hit a 3-pointer to boost Boston's lead to 62-55 with 8:13 left in the period, but Gee's layup and consecutive 3-pointers from Irving gave the Cavs a 63-62 edge. Thompson's two free throws capped the burst for a 68-63 lead with 3:19 left.
Jordan Crawford's 3-point shot in the closing second had the Celtics within 74-68 going to the fourth, but the Cavs were able to build their lead to 14 early in the final quarter. A dunk from C.J. Miles expanded the lead to 82-68.
Jason Terry's make from beyond the arc with 5:46 left had the hosts within 87-83, but Thompson countered with a dunk and Wayne Ellington hit a jumper.
Boston couldn't get closer than four the rest of the way.
The Cavs held a 58-42 rebounding advantage ... Bradley had 10 points, four less than teammate Brandon Bass ... Ellington had 12 points.