The Cavs rallied from 22 down, won a crucial last-second challenge and stunned the Celtics, snapping an 11-game winning streak.

The Cleveland Cavaliers cooled off the red-hot Boston Celtics in stunning fashion on Tuesday.

Sparked by backup Dean Wade, the Cavs rallied from a 22-point fourth-quarter deficit and saw off Jayson Tatum's last-second layup to beat the Celtics 105-104, snapping Boston's 11-game winning streak.

The Cavaliers trailed 93-71 with 9 minutes left, then went on a 34-11 run with 19 seconds left in the fourth quarter on a Wade dunk. With Boston leading 104-103 in the final 30 seconds of the game, Darius Garland drove to the basket for a contested layup. He missed, but Wade was there for the rebound to give the Cavs the lead and send the Cleveland crowd into a frenzy.

For a moment, Tatum appeared to play spoiler on the other end. The Celtics All-Star pulled up a fadeaway jumpshot in the closing seconds of the game. He missed, but a whistle blew with 0.7 seconds left on the clock. The officials ruled that Garland fouled Tatum on a shot that would have given the 82.9% free-throw shooter a chance to win the game.

Garland did not touch Tatum after the ball was released. Tatum then fell to the ground and hit Tatum's leg. The Cavs didn't like the call, and head coach JP Bickerstaff used his challenge. Garland's hit on Tatum's leg was crucial at the end of the game.

Upon review, officials determined there was no foul play on the key play. Official Zachary Zarba declared, “The leg kick by Tatum's right leg is considered contact with Garland, otherwise contact would not have occurred. Therefore the ruling on the ground is overturned.”

See also  Damar Hamlin was able to breathe on his own and talk to his teammates, giving the Buffalo Bills 'fuel' for this weekend's game.

The officials didn't call an offensive foul on Tatum, so the Celtics and Cavaliers jumped at center court with 0.7 seconds left. The Celtics won the tip, but there wasn't enough time on the clock to call a timeout. The game ended, and the Cavs escaped with a shocker on their home court.

[Join or create a Yahoo Fantasy Baseball league for the 2024 MLB season]

With the win, the Cavaliers improved to 40-21 and moved within a half game of the second-place Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference standings. The first-place Celtics fell to 48-13, but are in full control of the conference, 7.5 games ahead of the Bucks. If that's a second-round playoff preview, we're in for a thriller.

The Cavs entered Tuesday's game with injuries to key players. All-Star Donovan Mitchell missed his third straight game with a bone bruise in his left knee. The injury required a platelet-rich plasma injection on Monday, and the Cavaliers announced he will miss at least three games. Max Strus missed the game with a knee strain.

Later in the third quarter, forward Evan Mobley went down with a left ankle injury after twisting his ankle on a dunk.

He was able to make it to the locker room, but never returned to the game. His condition was not immediately known beyond Tuesday.

The Celtics led 69-62 at the time of Mobley's injury and extended that edge to 87-61 at the end of the third quarter. A 6-0 run to start the fourth put Boston in complete control of the game.

Dean Wade led the charge in the fourth quarter with 20 points, including five 3-pointers.  (AP Photo/Sue Okrocki)

Dean Wade led the charge in the fourth quarter with 20 points, including five 3-pointers. (AP Photo/Sue Okrocki)

Wade saved the Cavs with a big 4th quarter

But Wade had other ideas. The reserve guard entered Tuesday averaging 5.1 points per game, reeling off 20 fourth-quarter points to lead the Cleveland rally. He hit two 3-pointers in three possessions to stop the Celtics' run. His fifth 3-pointer of the quarter gave the Cavs their first lead of the second half, 102-99, with 2:35 left in the game.

See also  Argentina's Peronists surged in the polls to seal a run-off with extreme mileage

Then came the putback dunk that put the Cavs ahead for good. In the end, after entering the fourth quarter with three points, Wade finished with 23 points, eight rebounds and two steals. He shot 8 of 11 from the field, including 6 of 9 from 3-point range.

He celebrated his effort with an inspired Travis Kelce post-game.

Jared Allen was Cleveland's leading scorer with 21 points and 12 rebounds.

Tatum led the Celtics with 26 points and 13 rebounds but his late leg-kick ensured Boston would not win the game. Kristaps Porzingis returned from a one-game absence with 24 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals against the Golden State Warriors on Sunday. Jaylen Brown added 21 points.

In the end, Cleveland's hot shooting by Wade was the difference in the game from long range. The Cavaliers overcame a 53-42 rebounding deficit with a 20-of-42 (47.6%) effort from beyond the arc in a potential playoff preview victory.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *