CAVS WIN! Cavaliers Battle Back From 11 Down, Beat Celtics 95-87

J.J. Hickson's 21 points leads the Cavaliers to win in season-opener.

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Byron Scott Praises Hickson, Gibson After Win

Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott had plenty to be excited about after last night’s win over Boston. In particular, the play of J.J. Hickson and Daniel Gibson.

When asked about Gibson, Scott wasn’t shy:

“He’s been great all preseason and all training camp. I knew he wasn’t going to lose confidence in himself. I think everyone was a little nervous and excited. We made a few mistakes that we hadn’t been making, but you have to give them (Boston) credit because they are one of the best defensive teams in the league. We came back in the second half and did a heck of a job.”

The real star fo the game was Hickson, however, who showed why the Cavaliers drafted him in the 1sst round a couple years ago:

“He was great tonight. He did some really good things on the offensive end and some really good things on the defensive end. He had some lapses on the defensive end…but his activity tonight and his aggressiveness was fantastic. He got us off to a great start and in the second half, he didn’t have a letdown. Hopefully, it’s a sign of things to come.”

For more post-game reaction, check out Fear The Sword!

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RECAP: Cavaliers Beat Celtics

 J.J. Hickson went 8-of-11 from the field for 21 points, leading the new-look Cleveland Cavaliers to a 95-87 victory over the defending Eastern Conference champion Celtics at Quicken Loans Arena.

The Cavs, playing for the first time since 2002 without two-time MVP LeBron James on the roster, were able to do something that James' new team -- the Heat -- could not do a night earlier. While James and Co. lost in Boston on opening night Tuesday, Cleveland was able to secure a victory without its former superstar.

The hosts had six players reach double figures in scoring, including Daniel Gibson with 16 and Ramon Sessions with 14. Anthony Parker, Jamario Moon and Ryan Hollins each had 10 points, while Anderson Varejao provided eight points and 10 rebounds.

Rajon Rondo had 18 points and nine assists to lead the Celtics, who were unable to defeat Cleveland in the Cavs' season opener for the third straight season. Glen Davis contributed with 14 points, while Paul Pierce and Ray Allen had 13 and 12 points, respectively, in defeat.

Kevin Garnett added nine points and 15 rebounds for Boston, which defeated Cleveland in the conference semifinals last season.

The Cavs trailed by five to start the fourth, but a 12-4 spurt to begin the quarter put the home team ahead, 80-77. Gibson had seven points during the stretch, which ended on Antawn Jamison's running jumper with 8:15 left.

Five straight points by the Celtics put Boston ahead, 84-82, on a Pierce jumper with 4:39 to go, but the Cavs scored the next seven points, as a Parker triple with the shot clock winding down provided Cleveland with an 89-84 advantage with 2:27 left.

Allen attempted a game-tying three for Boston as the clock wound below a minute, but was off the mark. Hickson thought he had a basket and a foul on the next Cavs possession, but the referee called a charge with 35.6 ticks remaining.

Pierce missed a pull-up jumper at the other end, and Varejao sank a pair of free throws for a 91-86 lead with 24.4 seconds left. Boston never threatened down the stretch.

Rondo made all four of his shots in the first quarter for nine points, and the Celtics held a 23-21 lead after 12 minutes of play.

Boston began the second quarter on a 7-2 burst to assume a seven-point lead, but Cleveland fought back and moved ahead, 37-35, on a Moon three-pointer with five minutes until halftime.

The Celtics ended the half with five consecutive points to take a 47-46 lead into the locker room.

A quick 6-0 burst in the early portion of the third quarter made it a 55-48 game after consecutive Rondo layups, and a Pierce jumper expanded the lead to 66-65 with 4 1/2 minutes left.

A late 7-0 run by Cleveland cut its deficit to four, and Gibson's running jumper in the closing seconds had the Cavs within 73-68 heading to the fourth.

Celtics center Shaquille O'Neal played for the Cavaliers last season and had seven points and two rebounds against his former team...These teams split four meetings last season...Byron Scott made his debut as head coach in Cleveland...The Cavs had 16 second-chance points, compared to only four for the Celtics.

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Cavaliers Have The Q Rockin' In Win Over Boston

The Cleveland Cavaliers are 1-0, undefeated. Sure, it won’t last, but for one night fans of the Cavaliers can soak in a gratifying win that rivals any in team history.

Coming back from 11-points down late in the 3rd quarter, the Wine and Gold out-scored the Boston Celtics 27-14 in the 4th Quarter to win going away 95-87.

Now, there are no delusions here – I know the Celtics played last night in an emotional game against LeBron’s Heat – a game that had a playoff atmosphere from start to finish. I know the Celtics were a bit weary playing a road game on the back-half of a back-to-back.

I don’t care.

No way the Celtics wanted to lose this one – not after handling the Heat with relative ease. Similarly, the Cavaliers wanted to win it in the worst way. It was the Celtics, afterall, that embarrassed the Cavaliers the last time the team played a game that mattered at The Q. Add the LeBron motivation, and the Cavaliers wanted to make a point.

Message delivered. The team did the city proud tonight, and the fans did the team and player proud. The crowd was into it form beginning to end, and by the time the final horn sounded the Q seemed to be near-playoff intensity – a far cry from the way the place sounded last May.

I don’t know what the Cavaliers will do the final 81 games this season. For one night, I care little.

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Cavaliers Trail Celtics By One At The Intermission

After briefly grabbing a 4-point lead right before the half, the Cavaliers saw Boston score the last five points before the intermission to take a 47-46 lead over Cleveland at the Q.

J.J. Hickson leads the Cavs with 14 at the intermission, with Ramon Sessions right behind with 12. Jamario Moon has tallied eight. Andcrson Varejao totaled seven rebounds in the half and Anthony Parker leads Cleveland with four assists.

Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo both have nine points for Boston.

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Celtics Lead Cavaliers 23-21 After First Quarter

On the strength of 71% shooting, the Boston Celtics lead the Cavs 23-21 after the first period tonight in the Cavaliers’ season opener at the Q.

J.J. Hickson tallied 10 points for Cleveland in the first twelve minutes, while Rajon Rondo leads the Celtics with nine.

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Reminder Of Cleveland's Starting Lineup, Post-LeBron

I’m sure there are some casual Cavaliers fans out there who have not paid as much attention to the preseason, but will tune in to tonight’s opener against the Boston Celtics. Here is what the Cavs’ starting lineup will be, assuming Mo Williams isn’t kept out due to injury:

Guards: Mo Williams, Anthony Parker
Forwards: Jamario Moon, J.J. Hickson
Center: Anderson Varejao

It’s not a lot different than last year, except for the small fact that LeBron James has been replaced by Jamario Moon.

Key contributors off the bench are expected to include Antwan Jamison, Daniel Gibson, Ramon Sessions, and Ryan Hollins.

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Mo Williams Questionable For Opener

Cavaliers PG Mo Williams is questionable for tonight’s game against the Celtics according to head coach Byron Scott. Williams had been away from the team for a week following the death of his father-in-law and returned to the team yesterday.

Williams only played in one preseason game due to a groin injury suffered before the start of training camp and Scott wants to see Williams go through a full workout before making a decision.

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