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Olynyk scores 25 as Celtics roll past Cavs 111-99
Question of the Day
The Cleveland Cavaliers are ending with another puzzling tailspin.
Avery Bradley also scored 25 points for the Celtics, who built a 33-point lead early in the fourth quarter despite dressing only eight players. Olynyk had a career-high 12 rebounds, and Jeff Green and Brandon Bass each scored 19 points.
“Wins like this mean a lot because it shows that we’re going to continue to go out and play hard,” Bradley said. “We feel like we still have something to play for.”
Cleveland coach Mike Brown had a much different perspective. Since being eliminated from playoff contention Wednesday, the Cavaliers have lost to Milwaukee, the worst team in the league, and Boston, which came into Saturday with a 13-game road losing streak.
Asked if his players are mailing it in as the season comes to a close, Brown said: “When you watch us play, we don’t look like we’re playing to get better. We look like we’re playing, going through the motions. It’s not good. It’s not good at all.”
Boston won for the first time away from home since Feb. 10. The Celtics broke a nine-game losing streak Friday against playoff-bound Charlotte and have won consecutive games for the first time since early March. Boston plays Philadelphia and Washington to end the season.
The Celtics were without point guard Rajon Rondo (strained shin) and center Jared Sullinger (sprained ankle), as well as several reserves who are also injured.
“It was nice to have an extra opportunity to get in and start tonight, and I jumped on it,” Olynyk said. “It’s every player’s dream to be able to play through stuff and stay in.”
Added Boston coach Brad Stevens: “All eight guys were pretty locked in tonight. Our ball movement was great and Kelly was really good.”
Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters each scored 15 points for Cleveland, but neither played in the fourth quarter that began with Boston leading 89-58. Forward Luol Deng missed his second straight game for Cleveland with a sore back.
The final margin was misleading because Cleveland’s reserves scored 17 straight points in the final period.
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