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Cavaliers Run Wild On Celtics


The Cleveland Cavaliers' domination of Boston reminded Celtics coach Rick Pitino of the Harlem Globetrotters.

"I've seen the Washington Generals play better defense than that," said Pitino, comparing his 8-16 squad to the Globetrotters' perennial patsy. "I guess I try to stay positive and upbeat, but that was humiliating defense."

The Cavaliers seemingly toyed their way to a 113-86 victory over the Celtics.

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  • Wesley Person scored a team-high 19 points and Shawn Kemp scored six straight during a 10-0 Cleveland run in the third quarter as the Cavaliers caused Pitino to lose his patience.

    "I've reached my breaking point," Pitino said. "I'm going to watch this film and if people are humiliating the Boston Celtics, they're not going to play anymore. It's as simple as that. "

    "If we lose, we're going to lose fighting with the people that want to fight and not if I get my points, I will play defense. No more."

    Kemp had 13 points, seven rebounds and two assists in the third quarter as Cleveland used a 19-4 run to regain command in response to a 14-4 Boston spurt to open the second half.

    "My teammates had all the fun in the first half, so I had to do something," Kemp said. "I came to work tonight, not just watch, so I got more aggressive. I just felt it was the right time and it worked."

    Celtics rookie Paul Pierce scored eight points in the first 3:30 of the second half as Boston whittled a 16-point halftime eficit to 58-52.

    An emphatic dunk, one of five slams by former Celtic Andrew DeClercq, started the Cavaliers on their decisive run.

    "I don't think it was much revenge, but there was a lot at stake with the playoff race and I wanted to do well, certainly," DeClercq said.

    Cleveland led by 21 after three quarters and began the fourth with a 9-0 run, keyed by five points by Danny Ferry, for its largest lead at 92-62.

    Antoine Walker led Boston with 22 points. Vitaly Potapenko, acquired in a March 11 trade for DeClercq, had 10 points and 12 rebounds in 34 minutes in his first game against his former team.

    "When the game started, it was just like any other game," said Potapenko, who had six rebounds in the first seven minutes. "But there was nothing good about the way this one went. "

    "We just could not guard them one-on-one. You're not playing zone in the NBA, you're playing man-to-man. Every time they drove, we let them score."

    For Cleveland, Kemp scored 17 and Declercq had 16 in 22 minutes, one short of his career high. Corie Blount had season highs of 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Cavs.

    "We got more energy when the second group came on," Cavs coach Mike Fratello said. "We had 18 assists at halftime. That's an indication you are playing it right."

    Cleveland's reserves outscored the Boston substitutes 51-26.

    It was the Cavs' second consecutive blowout home win over the Celtics. The Cavaliers won 116-99 at Gund Arena on March 2. Pierce scored only two points in that game, missing all 11 of his shots from the field.

    Notes

    • Cleveland has won the last seven meetings from the Celtics.
    • The Cavs are 24-0 when scoring 100 or more points since a 110-105 loss to Charlotte on April 7, 1997.
    • Before the game, the Cavs placed rookie forward Ryan Stack on the injured list because of back spasms and signed 5-foot-5 rookie guard Earl Boykins to a second 10-day contract.
    • Boston put center Eric Riley on the injured list with a sore left foot and activated center Dwayne Schintzius, who had missed 12 games with an injured right knee.
    • Cavs guard Derek Anderson missed his second straight game with a bruised right knee.

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