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Green's buzzer-beater saves Celtics
The Celtics' Jeff Green, left, is greeted by Paul Pierce, center, and Terrence Williams after Green's game-winning basket against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday at Quicken Loans Arena. (David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)
The Celtics (37-34) snapped a five-game losing streak with Green's heroics. He finished with 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
Forward Brandon Bass had a game-high 22 points and added five rebounds for the Celtics, who were playing without Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, Jared Sullinger and Courtney Lee.
The Cavs (22-48) had a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter. They still were up by 10 with 5 minutes, 48 seconds left. Poor execution and missed shots down the stretch led to their sixth consecutive loss and 10th in the last 12 games.
Celtics swingman Paul Pierce had a night to remember with 19 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and seven turnovers. He shot 7-of-16 from the field.
The last time the Celtics were in town, Dec. 19, Pierce had a season-high 40 points.
On Wednesday, the Cavs were missing their top three scorers - Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and Anderson Varejao - and Wayne Ellington scored 16 points to lead six Cavs in double figures.
Point guard Shaun Livingston had a fine floor game with 12 points, three rebounds and five assists. However, he missed a 10-foot jumper with 10.9 seconds remaining, and Celtics guard Jason Terry grabbed the key rebound.
Forward Alonzo Gee, who added 12 points and five rebounds, knocked the ball out of Pierce's hands and out of bounds with 2.1 seconds remaining. That led to Green's driving layup.
Cavs swingman C.J. Miles dropped in two free throws with 39 seconds remaining, which opened up a three-point edge, 92-89.
Pierce's turnaround jumper in the lane narrowed the Celtics' deficit to 92-91.
The Cavs outscored the Celtics 28-21 in the third quarter. They led 73-67 heading into the fourth quarter.
Guard Wayne Ellington had nine of his team-high 16 points in the third quarter.
Bass had 18 points after three quarters for the Celtics.
The Cavs have had miserable starts to the third quarter all season. Not on Wednesday.
They started the second half on a staggering 17-4 run. They opened a 62-50 bulge on the Celtics, who were playing on the second night of a back-to-back.
The Celtics held onto a one-point advantage at halftime, 46-45.
The Cavs picked up the pace in the second quarter and outscored the Celtics 27-22. The Cavs were still shooting just 36.7 percent from the field.
Cavs center Tyler Zeller had a team-high nine points, eight rebounds and a block in the first half. He finished with 11 points and nine rebounds.
Power forward Tristan Thompson struggled through the first half with zero points and four rebounds. He had just two points, but pulled down nine rebounds. He was 1-of-6 from the field.
Bass and Pierce had 11 points in the first half for the Celtics. Pierce had a team-high seven rebounds, five assists, six turnovers and two blocks.
The Cavs appeared to be running in mud in the first quarter, as they were outscored 24-18 and shot a woeful 31.8 percent from the field. Zeller got off to a strong start with seven points and six rebounds.
Green had nine points, two rebounds and a block in the opening quarter. The Celtics shot 44.4 percent from the field.
Heat streak ends
Luol Deng scored 28 points and Carlos Boozer had 21 points and 17 rebounds as host Chicago halted Miami's 27-game winning streak, 101-97, Wednesday night.
LeBron James scored 32 points as the Heat lost for the first time since Feb. 1 and fell six games short of matching the record 33-game winning streak set by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers. Miami's streak is second-longest in NBA history.