Kemba Walker led with 22 points, Gordon Hayward had 14 in his return from a hand injury and the Boston Celtics beat the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers 110-88 on Monday night.
Jaylen Brown added 20 points, Jayson Tatum 19 and Daniel Theis 10 as all five Celtics starters scored in double figures. Boston improved to 10-0 at home and won for the sixth time in its last seven games.
Jordan Clarkson had 19 points and Tristan Thompson 17 for the Cavaliers, who lost their seventh straight and for the 13th time in their last 14 games.
Hayward was back in the lineup for Boston two weeks ahead of his initial projected return date from surgery to repair a fractured left hand that he underwent Nov. 11. He scored 10 of his points in the third quarter before sitting out the fourth.
The Celtics led from start to finish for the second straight game, going up by as much as 13 in the first quarter. The Cavaliers were within seven, 44-37, on a Kevin Love 3-pointer with 5:08 to go in the second, but Boston ended on a 9-3 run to take a 53-40 advantage into the half.
Brown led all scorers with 14 points. Thompson paced the Cavaliers with 11.
Boston began the third on a 9-1 run, upping its lead above 20 for the first time, 62-41, on a Tatum 3-pointer with 9:39 to go. A 14-2 Celtics stretch in the middle of the quarter included rookie Grant Williams hitting his first career 3-pointer on his 26th attempt. Boston's lead reached as high as 29 before Cleveland responded with a 16-4 run to trail 83-66 heading into the final 12 minutes.
The Cavaliers got within 12, 85-73, on a John Henson layup with 8:59 remaining, but the Celtics answered with seven straight points to regain control. Cleveland got as close as 13 the rest of the way before Boston restored its 20-point margin at 103-83 with 3:32 left and closed out the win.
The Celtics played without guard Marcus Smart (eye infection).
--Field Level Media