The Boston Celtics have barely been challenged during a four-game winning streak, including a 16-point win at the defending champs on Christmas. They'll try to extend their run to five games in a row when they host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday.
Advice: Do you want to bet on NBA? Check our Sportsbooks Review
After a six-point win at Dallas to begin the streak, Boston has three more victories by an average of 21 points as it tries to keep pace with the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference. "I've said it, but we have good players from top to bottom," forward Gordon Hayward told reporters after the 118-102 win at Toronto on Christmas. "And when we space correctly, and we play within ourselves and within the system of how we want to play, we're pretty tough." The Cavaliers have followed up a 2-16 stretch with three consecutive victories, their longest winning streak in two seasons. Collin Sexton stayed hot with 25 points in Monday's 121-118 win over Atlanta at home.
TV: 4 p.m. ET, FS Ohio (Cleveland), NBCS Boston
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (9-21): Sexton was 12-of-20 from the floor in the win over the Hawks while 19-year-olds Darius Garland and Kevin Porter Jr. combined for 36 points. Cleveland survived 23 turnovers by tightening up on defense and riding the trio of young guards down the stretch. "It shows that we are improving," coach John Beilein told reporters. "I don't know if we win this game a month ago."
ABOUT THE CELTICS (21-7): Hayward produced 14 points, six assists and five rebounds on Christmas after missing the previous three games with a foot issue. Jaylen Brown carried the bulk of the load with 30 points on 10-of-13 shooting - including 5-of-7 from 3-point range - and he is averaging 24.5 points during the winning streak. "I was feeling good," Brown told reporters Wednesday. "I was just trying to play within the game. Not a lot of playcalls. [I was] just scoring within the game, and that kind of just led to making baskets, and continuing to be efficient regardless of whatever how it goes out there, just take advantage of whatever opportunities you can get."
1. Hayward scored 39 points in the first meeting Nov. 5 and G Kemba Walker scored 22 in the next encounter Dec. 9 as the Celtics extended their winning streak in the series to six in a row.
2. Sexton has at least 23 points in three of his last four games, shooting a combined 32-for-50 in those three contests.
3. Celtics C Enes Kanter is averaging 13.8 rebounds in 21.3 minutes over his last four games.
News Breaking News
Key Players to Watch
no tickets found.
- GroinDoub Tues | doubtful
Tatum has missed the previous two games with a right groin strain, and his status is in doubt for Tuesday's tilt against the Heat.
- HipOut Tues | out
Kanter has missed the last two games with a right hip contusion, and he will not draw back into the lineup Tuesday versus the Heat.
- KneeQues Tues | questionable
Green is dealing with left knee soreness, and it is unclear if he will be available to face the Heat on Tuesday.
- AnkleProb Sun | probable
Brown has been held out of the previous two games with a right ankle sprain but is expected to face the Pelicans on Sunday.
- HandProb Sun | probable
Smart is expected to play in Sunday's contest against the Pelicans despite a sprained right hand.
- KneeProb Wed | probable
Walker is suffering from left knee soreness but is expected to suit up for Wednesday's battle versus the Grizzlies.
- ThumbProb Mon | probable
Brown has been held out of the previous two games due to a right thumb sprain, but he is expected to suit up for Monday's tilt versus the Lakers.
- KneeProb Mon | probable
Walker missed the previous contest due to left knee soreness, but it is likely he will be available for Monday's clash with the Lakers.
- KneeMid Feb | out
Knight is sidelined with a sore left knee, and is not expected to play until the middle of February.
- KneeProb Mon | probable
Porter Jr. has been recovering from a sprained left knee, and he is expected to suit up Monday versus the Pistons.
- IllnessOut indefinitely | out
Zizic is suffering from a vestibular condition. A timetable for return has yet to be established.
- BackProb Thurs | probable
Henson has been absent from the lineup during the last two games with lower-back soreness, but he is likely to be available versus the Wizards on Thursday.
- AnkleQues Sat | questionable
Exum has a sprained right ankle, and it is unclear if he will be in the lineup against the Bulls on Saturday.
- Shinout for season | out
Windler is expected to miss the remainder of the 2019-20 season after surgery to repair a left tibial stress reaction.
- RestOut Tues | out
Love is not expected to play against the Clippers on Tuesday as he will be given the night to rest.
- KneeProb Tues | probable
Nance Jr. has been sidelined due to left knee soreness, but is expected to make his return against the Clippers on Tuesday.