Cavaliers rally to snap Celtics’ 11-game winning streak: How Cleveland pulled it off



CLEVELAND — The Boston Celtics were rolling like no team in the NBA, but a fourth-quarter collapse, a backup Cleveland Cavaliers forward and a foul overturned by video replay changed all of that.

The Celtics blew a 22-point lead in the fourth quarter on Tuesday night and saw their NBA-best 11-game winning streak snapped by Cleveland, 105-104. Dean Wade came off Cleveland’s bench to score a team-high 23 points, with 21 in the fourth quarter — including what turned out to be the game-winning dunk off a Darius Garland miss with 19.1 seconds left.

With 0.7 seconds to go, Celtics All-Star Jayson Tatum drew a foul on Garland, which would have put Tatum on the line with a chance to win the game for Boston, but the Cavs challenged the call and won. Upon video review, officials said Tatum kicked out his leg as he shot the ball, which initiated the contact Garland was called for. With the foul overturned, the ball was moved to center court for a jump ball. The Celtics didn’t have time to get a shot off after corralling the tip.

The Cavs were already without NBA All-Star Donovan Mitchell and starting forward Max Strus due to injuries, and lost power forward Evan Mobley to a sprained left ankle in the third quarter. Jarrett Allen delivered 21 points and 12 boards for Cleveland.

Tatum led the Celtics with 26 points and 13 rebounds. Kristaps Porziņģis added 24 points and nine rebounds, and Jaylen Brown contributed 21 points. On the play in which the foul called on Garland was reversed, Porziņģis rebounded Tatum’s missed shot and converted the putback, but the referee had already blown the whistle to signal the play dead.

This is the Celtics’ first loss since Feb. 1. They still hold the best record in the NBA at 48-13. The Cavs are a half-game out of second in the East.

This story will be updated.

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(Photo: Ken Blaze / USA Today)





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