The Boston Celtics (49-27) know they need to beat the best to be the best in the Eastern Conference and the NBA.

The current No.1 in the East, Celtics will attempt to substantiate themselves once more as authentic title contenders instead of pretenders when they host the defending champs Cleveland Cavaliers (48-27) on Wednesday.

The basics

Tipoff: 8:00 pm. Wednesday, April 5 at TD Garden.


Radio: 100.7 WMMS and 87.7 FM (ESP).

The records

Cavaliers: 48-27, No.2 in the Eastern Conference, half a game behind of No.1 Boston and 2.5 games ahead of No.3 Toronto.

Celtics: 49-27, No. 1 in the Eastern Conference, half a game ahead of No.2 Cleveland.

What have they done lately?

Cavaliers: Valiant as their endeavors have been, the Sixers seem as though they're at last feeling the impacts of a parade of injuries. The Cleveland Cavaliers hopped out to a first half lead and never looked back, acquiring an amenable 122-105 triumph against the 76ers on Friday night. Amidst one of the most exceedingly awful team stretches of LeBron James' career, Cleveland exploited the Sixers' fragile state. The Cavs played like a group in urgent need of a win, choking out the Sixers from the second quarter onwards. With LeBron James effortlessly posting a stat line of 34 points, nine rebounds and six assists

Celtics: The Boston Celtics still are the No.

1 team in the Eastern Conference, despite the fact that they positively needed to battle for it Friday night. The Avery Bradley-less Celtics defeated a 13-direct deficiency towards beating the humbled Orlando Magic 117-116 at TD Garden. That, combined with the Cleveland Cavaliers' victory over the Philadelphia 76ers, implies that Boston still has a half-game lead in the East.

Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas lead all scorers with his 35 points and seven assists. Jae Crowder (18 points, five rebounds), Jaylen Brown (12 points) and Al Horford (12 points, nine rebounds and six assists) additionally had solid evenings. Aaron Gordon starred for the Magic with 32 points and 16 rebounds. With the win, Boston enhanced to 49-27, while Orlando dropped to 27-49.

Previous meetings

The Cavaliers lead the season series 2-1. On November 4, Cleveland beat Boston with a 128-122 victory. Isiah Thomas scored 30 points and nearly carried the Celtics to a seventeen point comeback. But like the rest of his teammates, he appeared to run out of gas down the stretch. Lebron James had 30 points, seven rebounds, and 12 assists. On December 30 at the Quicken Loans Arena, the Cavaliers won 124-118. Irving scored an efficient 32 points (12 of 17 from the field), and Love had 30, but there were other contributors of note. Lebron James’ all-around game was brilliant, 23 points, eight rebounds, eleven assists, three blocks, a steal and his usual stellar defense. On March 2, the Celtics held on to defeat Cleveland 103-99.

Thomas scored 31 points, including seven in the fourth quarter. Crowder scored 17.

Looking ahead

If the Cavaliers are the No. 1 seed: They would face the No. 8 seed in the first round of the playoffs. Miami lost its most recent game and now have the same record as both Chicago and Indiana. The Heat also own the head-to-head tiebreaker after winning the season series against the Pacers 2-1. Charlotte is in the No. 10 slot, two games behind. No. 11 Detroit has lost its most recent game, 2½ games behind.

If the Cavaliers are the No. 2 seed: They would face the No. 7 seed in the first round. Chicago is two games behind No. 6 Atlanta and three behind the No. 5 Milwaukee Bucks. No. 8 Miami have the same record as the Bulls, however, have lost the tiebreaker 2-1.