Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 12th 2023

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The Cleveland Cavaliers will attempt to hand the Boston Celtics their first home loss of the season when the teams meet Tuesday night.

Boston improved to 10-0 at home by beating the New York Knicks 133-123 on Friday. Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis returned to the court after missing four games with a calf strain and scored 21 points in 29 minutes during the win. He made his first seven field-goal attempts and said he felt no discomfort during the game.

“It felt good to be back out there,” Porzingis said. “I was itching to get back out there with my guys and happy about getting back and beating a good team like the Knicks.

“My teammates were finding me wide open again and again. Starting the game, pick-and-pops, got some great looks early on. It felt great.”

All five Boston starters scored at least 16 points against New York. Derrick White led the way with a season-high 30 points, and Jayson Tatum finished with 25 points, six rebounds and five assists. Jaylen Brown scored 17 before he was ejected in the fourth quarter after picking up his second technical foul.

“(Porzingis) just adds another huge threat to our offense,” Brown said. “Him just being 7-foot-3, setting screens, getting off threes and being able to shoot the ball makes teams have to make decisions, which opens up my game, which opens up White’s game, everybody’s game. So KP being on the floor, him just being there is a threat.”

The Cavaliers saw their three-game winning streak end with a 104-94 loss at Orlando on Monday. The setback dropped Cleveland’s road record to 7-4.

Cleveland led 29-22 after one quarter and 54-51 at halftime but missed 15 of its 17 field-goal attempts in the third, when it was outscored 30-15. The Cavaliers are 0-8 this season when trailing after three quarters.

Cleveland point guard Darius Garland scored a season-high 36 points in the loss. He shot 11 of 23 from the field and made 11 of his 12 free-throw attempts. Donovan Mitchell finished with 22 points and three steals, but he was 6 of 18 from the field, including 2 of 10 from behind the 3-point arc.

The Cavaliers shot 35.3 percent overall, 22.5 percent on 3-point tries.

“It was hard out there,” Cleveland coach J.B. Bickerstaff said postgame. “There were a lot of whistles and not a lot of rhythm. A lot of free throws taken, so it just got choppy. I thought there were two good teams out there that competed, and they got the best of us.”

Cleveland is 13-4 when it holds teams under 120 points, and 0-6 when opponents score 120 points or more.

The Cavaliers were without center Evan Mobley and guard Caris LeVert on Monday, both due to knee soreness. Mobley missed his second game in a row, while LeVert hasn’t played since Nov. 30.

Mobley is averaging 16 points and 10.5 rebounds this season while shooting 57 percent from the field. LeVert is averaging 14.9 points.

The teams will also play Thursday in Boston.

–Field Level Media

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