The Celtics  bounced back from their Game 1 loss with a 104-86 victory over the Cavs in Game 2 in Cleveland. They will head back to Boston on Friday for Game 3 with the series split, 1-1.
LeBron James  gave credit to his teammates when he was awarded the MVP trophy before the game, but it was the Celtics that won with a total team effort. All of the starters scored in double-digits, Rajon Rondo  dished 19 assists, and Rasheed Wallace  provided a critical spark off the bench with 17 points in just 18 minutes.
On the defensive end, the Celtics held James to 24 points (13 through three quarters). The C’s also outrebounded the Cavs, 43-29.
First Quarter: Celtics 26 – Cavaliers  22
First quarter key stats
Field goal percentage: Celtics 66.7% – Cavaliers 37.5%
Turnovers: Celtics 7 – Cavaliers 3
Doc River said Rasheed Wallace had to play better . It took just a few seconds to show he had listened. Wallace replaced Kendrick Perkins  in the first quarter and hit his first basket (a jumper) less than a minute later. He posted 5 points and 1 rebound in two minutes. The Celtics were successful in containing LeBron James (3 points, 1-4 FG), but the team committed seven turnovers in the quarter, giving up some of their defensive edge. Paul Pierce  picked up two fouls in 10 seconds – one trying to stop James at the basket, the other an offensive call against Anthony Parker. Rajon Rondo quieted the Cavs crowd with a 3-pointer as time ran down to push the C’s lead up to four.
Second Quarter: Celtics 52 – Cavaliers 48
First half leading scorers
Celtics: Rasheed Wallace – 13 points (5-5 FG, 3-3 3PG)
Cavs: Antawn Jamison – 11 points (4-6 FG, 1-2 3PG, 2-4 FT)
First half key stats
Turnovers: Celtics 10 – Cavaliers 7
Fouls: Celtics 16 – Cavaliers 4
Wallace carried his momentum into the second quarter, scoring five minutes in the first four minutes. Even though the C’s opened the quarter on a 9-0 run to push their lead up to 35-22, the Cavs responded with a 10-3 stretch of their own to gain momentum. In spite of only eight points from James, the combination of Celtics turnovers and fouls allowed the Cavs to make their way back into the game. The Celtics committed 16 first half fouls, as well as 10 turnovers. Pierce, Kevin Garnett , and Tony Allen  had three fouls at halftime.
Third Quarter: Celtics 83 – Cavaliers 60
Leading scorers through three quarters
Celtics: Ray Allen  – 20 points (7-11 FG, 3-5 3PG, 3-4 FT)
Cavs: Antawn Jamison – 13 points (5-8 FG), 1-2 3PG, 2-4 FT)
Key stats through three quarters
Turnovers: Celtics 14 – Cavaliers 12
Fouls: Celtics 20 – Cavaliers 10
After the Celtics got outscored, 36-24, in the third quarter of Game 1, they responded in Game 2 with a third quarter push of their own. The C’s outscored the Cavs 31-12, to take a 23-point lead. Records were reached and tempers flared during the stretch. Rondo tied Bob Cousy ‘s franchise mark with 19 assists in a postseason game. Kendrick Perkins and Anderson Varejao were issued double technicals when things got heated following the whistle. Minutes later, Varejao was called for a technical as Ray Allen drove to the basket. The Celtics committed just four fouls in the quarter, compared to 16 in the first half.
Final Score: Celtics 104 – Cavs 86
Celtics: Ray Allen – 22 points (8-15 FG, 3-7 3PG, 3-4 FT)
Cavs: LeBron James – 24 points (7-15 FG, 0-4 3PG, 10-15 FT)
Assists: Celtics 30 – Cavs 17 (Rondo, 19)
Fouls: Celtics 31 – Cavs 16
The Cavs diminished a 25-point lead with a 15-0 run late in the fourth quarter and got within nine points. The C’s went scoreless for over five minutes before Pierce snapped the skid. Doc Rivers  called a timeout to group his team, which responded with an 11-5 run to end the game. Even though the Celtics were outscored, 26-21, in the final 12 minutes, they held on for an 18-point win. Ray Allen led the Celtics with 22 points, and it was Wallace who provided a huge spark with 17 points off the bench.