Tuesday NBA odds: Boston Celtics at Cleveland Cavaliers

After winning a season-high six straight games to get to a season-high 3 games over .500, the have dropped three in a row and Coach Doc Rivers is promising changes if the team doesn’t reverse its fortunes. Boston opened as a 4.5-point WagerWeb.com favorite Tuesday at struggling Cleveland. Check our current odds.

Boston (20-20) didn’t look good early in Sunday’s 103-88 loss at Detroit. The Pistons blew an 18-point second-quarter lead before pulling away again in the second half. Boston never led. Kevin Garnett scored 16 points for Boston, and Rajon Rondo had eight points, 15 assists, nine rebounds and nine turnovers.

“We are playing awful and I am clearly not doing my job for this team and I am serious,” Doc Rivers said. “I am not trying to take a bullet for the team and I told them that. I said we have to find something where all 12 guys play the same way.”

Rivers said a potential shakeup awaits if his team does not start playing with more intensity and consistency.

“I think this team wants everything easy,” Rivers said. “They want the easy way out. They want to win easy. And I told them the only way you’re going to win easy is you’re going to have to play hard. The harder you play, the easier the games become. We’re taking the wrong approach. I’ve got to either find the right combination, the right guys, or we’re going to get some guys out of here. It’s the bottom line. Because this group right now, they are not playing right. It’s in them to play right. But right now they haven’t been — either because I’m not getting to them, or they are not getting to each other. But at the end of the day, either we’ve got to do that, or we’ve got to make changes.”

Cleveland (10-32) lost 109-98 at Utah on Saturday. Dion Waiters led the Cavs with 23 points off the bench. Tristan Thompson’s three-point play with 2:39 remaining got Cleveland within 104-94. But the Jazz got three chances on their next possession, with Gordon Hayward converting on a short jumper. Kanter then followed with another basket to bump Utah’s lead back to 14. Kyrie Irving added 18 points with nine assists for Cleveland, but started 1 of 7 from the field before finishing 7 of 20.

Afterward, he expressed frustration.

“When our guys want to get it going, we just don’t,” he said. “We talk about it. Then teams make shots and we just don’t respond.”

Irving played in his 82nd career game on Saturday. Irving has scored 1,661 career points, the 7th-most among current NBA players in their 1st 82 career games.

This is the second of four regular season matchups between the two teams. In the first meeting on Dec. 19 at the TD Garden, the Cavs had a 13-2 advantage in offensive rebounds which led to a 17-2 edge in second chance points. Tyler Zeller made his first career start and scored a career-high 20 points on 9-15 (.600) shooting in 36 minutes against Boston. Tristan Thompson notched his sixth double-double of the season with 11 points, a game-high 12 rebounds, two steals and two blocks in 38 minutes, while Irving recorded a team-high 22 points on 9-17 (.529) shooting, four rebounds and two steals in 37 minutes in that contest.

The Celtics were led by Paul Pierce, who had a season-high 40 points on 13-16 (.813) shooting, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals in 34 minutes. Rondo finished with 20 points, four rebounds and a game-high eight assists in 37 minutes. Jason Terry tallied 15 points and four assists in 35 minutes for Boston.

After Cleveland climbed back from a 20-point deficit with a 20-2 run to close Boston’s lead to two (82-80) with 9:04 remaining in the game, the Celtics responded with a 16-5 run.

WagerWeb.com trends: Celtics are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game. Celtics are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400. Celtics are 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a losing S.U. record. Celtics are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a SU loss of more than 10 points. Celtics are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games overall. Cavaliers are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a SU loss of more than 10 points. Cavaliers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games following a road trip of 7 or more days. Home team is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings. Celtics are 4-10 ATS in the last 14 meetings in Cleveland.

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