The game included sniping between Boston's Paul Pierce and the
Cavaliers' LeBron James after a spitting incident late in the third
Drew Gooden, acquired from Orlando in an offseason trade, had 25
points. James scored 21 points, Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 13 before
fouling out, and McInnis scored 12 for the Cavaliers, who improved
Pierce and Gary Payton each scored 14 points, and Mark Blount
had 13 for the Celtics, who lost for the sixth time in seven
With the score tied at 83, McInnis hit a 3-pointer from the
right wing to give the Cavaliers the lead for good with 3:28
remaining. He later added another 3-pointer from nearly the same
spot, with Gooden and James each hitting inside baskets during the
Late in the third quarter, Pierce spit in the direction of the Cleveland bench
after yelling at the Cavaliers substitutes to sit down.
Pierce had beaten James on a crossover dribble and then hit a
fallaway before James answered with a long jumper. James then stole
the ball from Pierce and dunked.
Pierce then confronted the Cleveland bench, leaving the game
soon after to a chorus of boos from the crowd of 8,795 at Ohio
State's Value City Arena. Both he and James were assessed
technicals for jawing at each other.
Boston, which opens the season Nov. 3 at home against
Philadelphia, trailed by as many as 13 points in the opening half.
The Celtics took the lead at 80-78 midway through the fourth
quarter on back-to-back 3-pointers by Walter McCarty.
Gooden scored 10 of the Cavaliers' first 20 points before going
scoreless in the second quarter.
Cleveland, which just missed the playoffs last year with a 35-47
record, has two more exhibition games before opening the season
Nov. 3 at home against Indiana.
Dajuan Wagner, expected to contend for playing time at point
guard, did not make the trip for the Cavaliers because of a
sprained right ankle.