NBA regular season

Donovan Mitchell leads Cavaliers in overtime conquest of reeling Celtics

Donovan Mitchell leads Cavaliers in overtime conquest of reeling Celtics

SPIDA STING. Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) celebrates after the Cavaliers beat the Boston Celtics at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Donovan Mitchell scores 40 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers escape in overtime against the Boston Celtics, who have lost three in a row since holding the league's best record

Lamar Stevens scored five consecutive points in overtime to help the Cleveland Cavaliers rally at home on Monday (Tuesday, March 7, Manila time) to claim the regular-season series over the Boston Celtics with a 118-114 win.

Stevens finished with eight points, but came through in the clutch when he connected on a corner 3-pointer with 2:14 remaining in the extra frame to give Cleveland a lead it never relinquished.

Stevens added a layup on the ensuing possession to push the Cavaliers’ lead to four points and effectively seal the win.

Donovan Mitchell led all scorers with 40 points, including some critical baskets during Cleveland’s furious fourth-quarter rally.

Mitchell scored with 24.7 seconds remaining to give the Cavaliers a brief lead in the fourth quarter — their first edge since leading 9-8 in the first quarter — then added the tying free throws with 5.8 seconds remaining after Derrick White sank a wide-open 3-pointer.

Evan Mobley added 25 points and a game-high 17 rebounds and game-high-tying three blocked shots to help Cleveland avoid stumbling against a short-handed and well-worn visiting Celtics side.

Boston came into Cleveland for the second half of a back-to-back, one night after going to double overtime in a loss to the New York Knicks. Jayson Tatum, the Celtics’ leading scorer, sat out Monday after scoring 40 points in 49 minutes of action against the Knicks.

Despite being down its star, Boston led nearly wire-to-wire behind team highs of 32 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists from Jaylen Brown, and 24 points off the bench from Malcolm Brogdon.

Boston led 68-56 at the break and saw its lead swell to as many as 15 points in regulation. But Cleveland chipped away at the deficit with a dominant fourth quarter, holding the Celtics to just 17 points in the period while scoring 31.

Boston had an opportunity to end the contest with less than a second to go in regulation, but Grant Williams — fouled on a tip-in attempt following Payton Pritchard’s missed layup — missed two free throws. –

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