Oct. 27 at Cleveland: Boston 95, Cleveland 89
Paul Pierce hit two key jumpers in the final minute to secure an opening-night victory on the road. He finished with 23 points as Boston spoiled Shaquille O’Neal’s Cavalier debut. Despite LeBron James’s 38 points, the Celtics snapped an eight-game losing skid in Cleveland.
Feb. 25 at Boston: Cleveland 108, Boston 88
After going into halftime with an 8-point lead, the Celtics scored just 32 more points. Mo Williams had 14 points in the fourth quarter as the Cavaliers outscored the Celtics, 35-14. Pierce did not play because of a thumb injury, and Boston missed its leading scorer, shooting just 3 for 20 in the fourth quarter.
March 14 at Cleveland: Cleveland 104, Celtics 93
James wore down the visiting Celtics, scoring 24 of his 30 points after halftime. Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen combined for 56 points, but the difference was bench play. Cleveland’s Anderson Varejao (17) outscored the entire Celtics bench (15).
April 4 at Boston: Boston 117, Cleveland 113
The Celtics withstood a furious Cavalier comeback led by James to hold on and split the season series. Boston led by 17 at the outset of the fourth quarter, but James scored 20 of his 42 points in the period. Cleveland led, 104-103, with 2:58 left before Boston reclaimed the lead.