LeBron's Cavaliers Are Not Ready, Despite Meaningless Win Over Celtics

They had home-court advantage both times, which will not be the case this time around, putting this team that's been terrific at times and frustrating at others in a hard spot.

With his triple-double in the books, Westbrook scored his team's final 15 points, including a 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded after a timeout with 2.9 seconds left.

Both squads traded free throws and Cleveland's lead was still four with 8.3 seconds remaining when LeBron James fouled Paul Millsap on a three-point attempt.

LeBron James tallied his 13th triple-double of the season and 55th of his career - finishing with 32 points, a game-high 16 boards and 10 assists before fouling out for second time this season on a questionable call three minutes into overtime.

The Cavaliers are facing Hawks at Atlanta for their fourth match in this season.

The Cleveland Cavaliers beating the Boston Celtics on 5 April in the Celtics' own turf at the Boston Garden has some mighty implications.

With the Celtics and Cavaliers now tied with each having a 51-29 overall record, one win ahead of the Toronto Raptors, who are in third place in the East with 50 wins as the season gets closer to the NBA Playoffs. Jerian Grant, who started over the injured Rajon Rondo at point guard, had 15 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two steals.

Turning Point - Those nine turnovers in the fourth quarter. The Cavaliers have only themselves to blame for coughing up a 26-point fourth-quarter lead, and this latest meltdown will only lead to more questions about them heading into the postseason. The Cavaliers took a 65-46 lead into half-time. Cleveland was 2 of 14 from 3-point range in the first quarter on Friday.

"Obviously a bad performance", coach Tyronn Lue said, stating the obvious.

"They're going to give it a go", coach Mike Budenholzer said.

For James, the explanation was simple.

"It's a great momentum builder", Hardaway said. "When you allow teams to stick around, that's what happens". We'll get out of it; we'll be all right. "We've had some good moments and some not-so-good moments - like today". The Cavs are still trying to hold off East rivals Boston Celtics for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

Millsap's points and rebounds total marked a 19th double-double of the season, and confirmed his successful return from a left knee problem.

HAWKS 126, CAVALIERS 125, OT: Paul Millsap scored 22 points and the Hawks took advantage of Cleveland's fourth-quarter collapse to overcome a 26-point deficit and stun the Cavaliers at Atlanta.

"Any time you beat the defending National Basketball Association champions, it's huge", Hardaway said, "no matter the circumstances".

The Cleveland Cavaliers were on track to have an "all's well that ends well" type of season after spanking the Celtics in dominant fashion on the road last week, tightening screws at the top of the Eastern Conference.

DeMar DeRozan scored 35 points to lead the Toronto Raptors past the New York Knicks 110-97, while the Detroit Pistons were too good for the Memphis Grizzlies 103-90.

  • Julie Sanders