GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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March 28, 2013

Green's layup at buzzer lifts Celtics over Cavs

CLEVELAND — Jeff Green scored 21 points and hit the winning layup at the buzzer, and the Boston Celtics snapped a five-game losing streak with a 93-92 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.

Brandon Bass scored a season-high 22 points to lead the Celtics, who rallied from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter to avoid matching their longest skid of the season. Boston had dropped seven of nine to fall into seventh place in the Eastern Conference — 2½ games ahead of eighth-place Milwaukee.

With 9.2 seconds remaining, Paul Pierce drove into the frontcourt and had the ball knocked out of bounds by Cleveland’s Alonzo Gee with 2.1 seconds left. After a video review confirmed the Celtics had possession, Green took an inbound pass from Avery Bradley at the top of the key, drove into the lane and scored over two defenders as time expired.

Wayne Ellington scored 16 points to lead Cleveland, which has lost six in a row — matching a season high — and 10 of 12.

Pierce, who had 19 points and 10 rebounds, hit a jumper with 32 seconds remaining to make it 92-91. Following a miss by Shaun Livingston, the Celtics regained possession and called timeout with 9.2 seconds remaining.

The next play, which began in the backcourt, seemed to set Pierce up for the final shot before Gee knocked the ball loose in front of Cleveland’s bench. The Celtics quickly regrouped and Bradley found Green for the winner.

The Cavaliers were coming off their worst defeat of the season, a 38-point loss at Houston on Friday. Cleveland seemingly had control of the game in the fourth quarter, but lost a battle of teams that have been decimated by injuries.

Boston played without forward Kevin Garnett, who missed his third straight consecutive because of inflammation in his left ankle. Guard Courtney Lee has also missed the last three games of a sprained left ankle.

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