4 May 2010

Celtics rout Cavaliers to level playoff series

7:03 pm on 4 May 2010

The Boston Celtics have levelled their NBA Eastern Conference basketball playoff series at one victory each after a 104-86 road win over LeBron James's Cleveland Cavaliers.

Ray Allen scored 22 points and Kevin Garnett added 18 and 12 rebounds for Boston while Rasheed Wallace came off the bench to contribute 17 points.

Rajon Rondo also matched a Celtics playoff record with 19 assists.

The Cavaliers now face games three and four on Friday and Sunday in Boston, with new concerns about a sore right elbow for James, named yesterday as the NBA Most Valuable Player for the second season in a row.

The Phoenix Suns also beat the San Antonio Spurs 111-102 at home in the opening game of their best-of-seven Western Conference finals series.

And the Chicago Bulls have fired their coach Vinny Del Negro in acrimonious circumstances after the Cavaliers ended their playoff hopes in the first round.