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Paul Pierce scored a season-high 40 points on a staggeringly efficient 13-for-16 from the field as the Celtics ended their three-game losing streak with a 103-91 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Pierce also had 8 rebounds and 5 assists, and Rajon Rondo added 20 point and 8 assists for a Celtics’ team that didn’t arrive in Boston until 2pm today because their plane had mechanical problems last night in Chicago.
Kyrie Irving scored 22 points for the Cavs, who were playing without their starting Center, Anderson Varejo.
The Celtics ballooned their lead all the way to 20 points halfway through the third quarter when it looked like Pierce wasn’t going to miss from deep. The Cavs used a 17-0 lead to cut the Celtics’ lead to 82-80, early in the fourth quarter.
The Celtics’ bench was the main reason the Cavs climbed back into the game, and they were able to muster just 15 points collectively. Brandon Bass and Jeff Green scored just 7 points on 3-for-11 shooting combined.
Lost in Pierce’s brilliance was the fact that Jason Terry snapped out of a funk of his own. Terry scored 15 points and made three of his five three-point attempts.
Doc Rivers decided to shake up the Celtics’ starting lineup on Wednesday, re-inserting Terry and giving Jason Collins his first start in a green uniform. Bass and Courtney Lee moved into reserve roles.
The Celtics play their fourth and final meeting of the season against the Bucks on Friday at home.