Boston survives early Cleveland onslaught to maintain Eastern Conference top spot

Jaylen Brown challenges Jarrett Allen’s defense (AP photo via

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Boston Celtics escaped an early scoring avalanche from the Cleveland Cavaliers and recovered in the second half, 120-113, to maintain its top spot in the Eastern Conference of the ongoing NBA season last December 13, 2023.

After getting punched in the mouth during the first quarter when the Cavaliers quickly built a double-digit lead, the Celtics regrouped and weathered the early storm courtesy of their tremendous defense and balanced scoring attack.

Five players for the Celtics reached the double-digit mark in scoring led by the duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown who each scored 25 points.

Brown first heated up for the Celtics as the savvy shooting guard already dropped eight markers in the first quarter alone.

Tatum, who had a rough start shooting the leather in the first half, finally picked up his rhythm and generated most of his points from the free-throw line.

The versatile scoring machine went perfect from the charity stripe, draining all of his nine attempts from the free throw line.

Boston also wrapped up the game with a perfect shooting night from the free throw line and went 26/26 as a team.

The other players who also provided double-digit scoring for the Celtics are Kristaps Porzingis with 21, Derrick White with 17, and Jrue Holiday with 11 points.

Cleveland had another huge night from their backcourt duo of Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland but the squad missed the presence of Evan Mobley who is still nursing an injury.

Mitchell tallied 29 points for the Cavaliers built from an efficient 11/22 shooting from the field while Garland added 26 markers.

Cleveland will look to bounce back on December 15, 2023, as they meet with Boston again in an Eastern Conference rematch.