Cleveland (USA), May 12 (EFE) .- Power forward Kevin Love played his best game so far this season and with a double-double of 30 points and 14 rebounds led the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 102- win. 94 against the decimated Boston Celtics, who were eliminated from going directly to the playoffs and will have to play the play-in tournament in the Eastern Conference.
While the victory allowed the Cavaliers to break a losing streak of 11 consecutive losses, the worst in the NBA before the day began.
Boston, which played without starting point guard Kemba Walker and guard Marcus Smart due to injuries, came in with an outside opportunity to catch up with the New York Knicks for No. 6 in the Eastern Conference standings with just three season games. regular to be disputed.
But a loss to the humble Cavaliers meant that they will already have to play the entry tournament with three other teams and look for a pass to the seventh and eighth places with at least two extra games.
Love hit six 3-pointers, including two on an 11-0 streak early in the fourth quarter, as Cleveland closed out a frustrating and losing season at its Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, in addition to not having won since April 21.
Power forward Jayson Tatum scored 29 (on 11 of 26 shots) and French forward Evan Fournier had 15 more for the Celtics, who have lost eight of their last 11 games.
It was Boston’s first road encounter since losing All-Star guard-forward Jaylen Brown for the remainder of this season with a torn ligament in his right wrist.
Brown’s absence is a devastating blow to the club’s playoff chances, which were starting to look shaky in recent weeks anyway.
With playoff positioning on the line and the need for a confidence boost after a tough stretch, the Celtics were also left without Walker (injured knee break) and Smart (bruised calf), leaving Tatum for carrying too much offensive charge.
The Cavs have grappled with their own injury issues and were without a number of key players, including starting guard Darius Garland. He missed his seventh straight game with a sprained ankle.
Canadian center Tristan Thompson of Boston received a warm standing ovation in his first game in Cleveland, where he played with the Cavaliers from 2011, when he was the No. 4 coach in the college draft, until last season.
Thompson, as a free agent, signed with the Celtics last November, without being a decisive player.
While the Brazilian center Anderson Varejao also said goodbye to the Cavaliers in Cleveland after last week he signed a contract for 10 days that allowed him to say goodbye to the fans after having played 11 seasons with them.
(c) EFE Agency