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A Step Behind On Opening Night: Celtics 95, Cavaliers 89

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A Step Behind On Opening Night: Celtics 95, Cavaliers 89


Photo: AP/Mark Duncan

Tonight's Cavaliers-Celtics matchup was tagged as the first glance at two new-look teams. However, the Cavaliers, now equipped with Shaquille O'Neal, Anthony Parker, and Jamario Moon, and the Celtics, with new additions Rasheed Wallace and Marquis Daniels, put on a show that had a feel very much like the battles of the past two years. Although one key difference was that the home team did not come out on top as the Cavaliers lost to Boston for the first time in the Q since December 2004, and the home team lost for the first time in the two's last 16 meetings (including playoffs).

Fast out of the gate: In typical Q-style fashion from last season, the Cavaliers didn't waste any time in jumping all over Boston as they hit 6-of-7 field goals to start the game and take a 13-2 lead. During this stretch, the Cavaliers offensive movement was excellent since everyone was getting their hands on the ball. Shaquille O'Neal got three low-post buckets in 1-on-1 situations with Kendrick Perkins, and the Cavaliers got out and ran a little bit, beating Boston down the court on several occasions. Cleveland also forced multiple Boston turnovers by getting their hands in the passing lanes, especially Anthony Parker. In the first quarter, the Cavaliers shot 12-for-23 (52 percent), and 9 of those 12 baskets were assisted. The Cavaliers led by as much as 14 points in the first quarter.

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