CLEVELAND — Jeff Green did it three weeks ago in Indiana, and he did it again Wednesday night.
The forward made another buzzer-beating basket that helped the Celtics steal a 93-92 win against the Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena.
With 2.1 seconds left and the Celtics trailing by 1, Avery Bradley inbounded the ball to a cutting Green, who drove through the lane, soared, and converted a layup just before the buzzer blared, helping the team end a five-game losing streak.
Green finished with 21 points and seven rebounds, and the Celtics came back with a furious finish late in the fourth quarter after trailing for most of the second half.
The Celtics closed the game on a 21-6 run after trailing by as many as 14 points in the second half. Brandon Bass scored a season-high 22 points and Paul Pierce had 19 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists.
Wayne Ellington had 16 to lead six Cavaliers in double figures. Cleveland lost its sixth straight game.
End of third quarter; Cleveland 73, Boston 67:A terrible quarter for the Celtics, who trailed by as many as 12 in the frame before chipping away at that lead. There have been plenty of poor plays on both sides — each team has 14 turnovers — but this seems to be another case where the Celtics are playing down to their competition. Granted, the Celtics are short-handed, but they should be winning this game. Brandon Bass has a game-high 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting. Paul Pierce has 13 and Jeff Green has 12. Wayne Ellington has 16 points, nine of which he scored in the third quarter.
Third quarter, 5:24, Cleveland 64-54: The Cavs opened the second half on a 17-4 run, a spurt that Doc Rivers tried to stop twice with timeouts, though neither worked at all. His squad is getting run over on the defensive end and they can’t hang on to the ball on offense. Tristan Thompson drove baseline and dunked on Jeff Green, who didn’t try to stop him. The Celtics turned it over on the ensuing play and that led to a fast-break slam dunk by Alonzo Gee.
Halftime: Boston 46-45The Celtics led by as many as 12 in the first half, but carelessness with the ball and head-scratching defensive lapses. The Celtics had 10 turnovers that Cleveland turned into 10 points. Paul Pierce has had a pretty complete game thus far: 11 points, 7 rebounds, 6 turnovers, 5 assists, 2 blocks. Tyler Zeller nearly has a double double, with 9 points and 8 rebounds.
Second quarter, 3:48, Boston 36-34:Cleveland has used an 11-1 run to charge back, and the Celtics have let them by completely falling asleep on defense. Chris Wilcox barely drew iron on a pair of free throws. CJ Miles has two 3-pointers off the bench for the Cavaliers.
Second quarter, 7:36, Boston 35-23:The Celtics have started to open up some breathing room. Pierce has 11 and has hit 4 of his 7 shots. Shavlik Randolph has also provided a boost by taking a charge and grabbing two rebounds in limited minutes. His defense has been impressive, as has the Celtics defense overall. Cleveland is shooting 29 percent (9 for 31) from the floor.
End of the first quarter, Boston 24-18:Even though the Celtics are without several players, it still feels like they should be beating Cleveland by a lot more. The Cavaliers look awful — kind of like a 22-47 team. Jeff Green looks like he may have one of those “good” nights. He has a team-high 9 points. The Cavaliers are shooting 7-of-22 from the floor. Tyler Zeller has 7 points to lead them.
First quarter, 4:11, Boston 17-11:The Celtics trailed 6-2 to start the game but have responded behind Paul Pierce, who has 6 points on 2-of-3 shooting. Brandon Bass and Jeff Green each have 4 points. Tyler Zeller has 5 points and 4 rebounds to lead the Cavaliers. The Celtics used a 13-4 run to take a 17-9 lead with 4:50 left.