BOSTON -- Terry Rozier scored 20 points in 20 minutes, stealing the spotlight from LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas in a rematch of the Eastern Conference finals and leading the Boston Celtics to a 102-88 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.
Rozier scored the last eight Boston points of the first quarter to give the Celtics an 11-point lead, and had another eight in a row midway through the fourth when they expanded the lead to 21. Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum had 15 points apiece, and Irving and Al Horford each had 11 points and nine rebounds to help Boston to its fourth straight win.
James had 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists, and Tristan Thompson had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Cleveland, which lost for the fourth time in five games. Playing on back-to-back nights -- the Celtics had been preparing for them since New Year's Eve -- Cleveland shot 34.8 percent.
It was the first time the teams had played since the season opener, when top Boston free-agent Gordon Hayward broke his leg and in a gruesome injury that reshuffled the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Celtics finished with the top seed last year, but lost in the conference finals to Cleveland (see full recap).
Beal, Wall spark Wizards’ win over Knicks
WASHINGTON -- Bradley Beal scored 27 points, John Wall added 25 with nine assists and the Washington Wizards beat the New York Knicks 121-103 on Wednesday night.
Playing for the first time since he was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week, Beal followed his 39-point outburst on Sunday by hitting 11 of his 14 field goal attempts for Washington, which was won five of six.
Marcin Gortat had a season-high 21 points, making 9 of 10 from the field.
Michael Beasley had 20 points, including 16 in the second half to lead the Knicks, who have lost six of seven.
Kristips Porzingis scored 16 points. New York has lost 14 of its last 15 to Washington (see full recap).
Harden-less Rockets roll over Magic
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Gerald Green scored 27 points, Clint Capela had 21 points and eight rebounds and the Houston Rockets got by without NBA scoring leader James Harden, routing the Orlando Magic 116-98 on Wednesday night.
Harden was sidelined by a strained left hamstring.
Green made his first five 3-point shots and finished 7 for 10 from behind the arc for the Rockets, who were never behind and led by as many as 28 late in the third quarter.
Eric Gordon added 17 points and six assists to help Houston tune up for its Thursday night showdown with the Golden State Warriors.
Aaron Gordon led the Magic with 16 points after missing his first eight shots. Elfrid Payton and Mario Hezonja added 14 each in Orlando's 12th loss on 13 games.
The Magic (12-27) missed 16 of their first 18 shots and fell behind by 15 points before the end of the first quarter. A scoring burst by Hezonja kept them in the game in the second quarter but they could get no closer than nine (see full recap).