BOSTON (AP) — Jaylen Brown scored 34 points and the Boston Celtics beat depleted Cleveland 111-101 on Wednesday night to end the Cavaliers' winning streak at six.
Robert Williams III added a career-high 21 points along with 11 rebounds and seven assists, and Jayson Tatum had 18 points.
Darius Garland led Cleveland with 28 points, and Kevin Love had 18. The Cavaliers were missing starters Isaac Okoro, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen and five other players in the NBA's health and safety protocol.
Also short-handed, Boston signed 40-year-old Joe Johnson to a 10-day contract Wednesday. The crowd chanted "We Want Joe! "We Want Joe!"" and broke into a loud cheer when he got off the bench and came into the game. He got a huge ovation when he hit a fallaway jumper in the final minute.
Down 23 points, the Cavaliers cut it to 10 at 85-75 on Garland's basket — the first of the final quarter — but Williams had a steal and breakaway dunk that sparked the crowd and started an 8-0 spree.
Cavaliers: Lamar Stevens, Dylan Windler, Denzel Valentine, RJ Nembhard and Ed Davis also are in protocol. … They missed nine of their first 10 on 3-point attempts. … They signed forward Tre Scott from the G League Cleveland Charge to a 10-day contract via the NBA's hardship exception. … Garland and Osman were each whistled for a technical.
Celtics: Williams returned to the starting lineup after missing the last game for personal reasons. … Coach Ime Udoka said the team is still in a "holding pattern waiting for two negative tests" on the seven players that are in COVID protocol, which includes starting center Al Horford and forward Grant Williams, who plays extended minutes.
Seven-foot-6 center Tacko Fall, who saw limited action the past two seasons with Boston but was a fan favorite, made his first career NBA start due to Cleveland's limited roster. He got a loud ovation when he was introduced, and there was a spattering of cheers when he did something positive during the game.
Cavaliers: Host Toronto on Sunday night.
Celtics: At Milwaukee on Saturday.
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