Monday , Apr , 17 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Celtics’ bad luck continues against Cavs

Boston, MA (Sports Network) – Larry Hughes scored 21 points, dished out six
assists and made five steals as Cleveland held off Boston, 93-88, at TD
Banknorth Garden.

Anderson Varejao scored 14 points, while Eric Snow and Damon Jones each netted
12 points for the Cavaliers, who won despite the absence of LeBron James, and
who have already locked up the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Cavaliers will conclude their regular season Wednesday at home against
Atlanta with a chance for 50 wins for the first time since the 1992-93 season.

“Not a lot of guys in their career win 50 games,” Hughes said. “It’s a new
team and a new staff from top to bottom. To come in and put up 50 wins in a
season I think that’s a great confidence booster for the time that everyone is

Hughes hurt his right hand in the first quarter, but returned in the second
after x-rays came back negative.

“It hurt. That initial sting and me having the history of it you have to make
sure everything is good,” Hughes said.

Tony Allen scored a game-high 23 points and Gerald Green tallied 17 points and
five rebounds for the Celtics, who have now lost five straight games.

“He’s given us great hope and he’s given us great confidence,” Boston head
coach Doc Rivers said of Allen. “I didn’t see this out of him this year. I
just thought it would take next year before he got his legs under him. Benefit
number one is his health.”

Cleveland assumed control of the game as it embarked on a 19-0 run midway
through the third quarter. Ronald Murray and Varejao combined to score 13
points during the spurt, which was capped by Murray’s layup with 4:52
to go in the stanza, giving the Cavs a 20-point lead, 75-55. Cleveland
outscored Boston 34-14 in the quarter.

Boston only got as close as five the rest of the way, as it scored eight of
the last 10 points to end the game, but it was never really in the game
after the third quarter, despite outscoring the Cavs 25-11 in the final frame.

Allen scored nine first-quarter points as Boston held a one-point edge, 26-25,
after 12 minutes of play. They maintained their lead after two frames, 49-48,
as they scored seven of the final nine points of the half.

Game Notes

James missed the game with a sprained left ankle…Cleveland swept the
season series 4-0 over Boston with the win…Drew Gooden left the game with a
left groin strain and did not return for Cleveland…The Cavaliers connected
on 23-of-29 free throws while Boston hit only 9-of-18 from the charity
stripe…Boston will close out its season on Wednesday at home against Miami.