The Cleveland Cavaliers were passable on offense on Wednesday night in their 103-91 loss to the Boston Celtics, but put up an embarrassing effort on defense against a team not known for its offensive fireworks. The Cavs (5-22) allowed the Celtics (13-12) to shoot 59 percent from the field and 53 percent from three-point range, with Paul Pierce dropping in 40 points by himself.
That erased solid nights from Kyrie Irving and rookie Tyler Zeller, who produced 20 points on 9-of-15 as he fills in for Anderson Varejao as the team's starting center. Irving was his typically stellar self, putting up 22 points on 9-of-17 shooting from the field and 2-of-5 shooting from deep.
But it's hard to win in the NBA when allowing an opponent to shoot nearly 60 percent, especially one with a defense as vaunted as Boston's. It's also hard to win when a team is as banged up as the Cavs, whose decimated bench only put up 14 points in 58 minutes.
The Cavs will be off on Thursday as they travel home where they will host the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.