PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- LeBron James scored 12 points in the first quarter to give Cleveland an early lead, then the Boston reserves took over and led the NBA champions to a 96-94 exhibition victory over the Cavaliers on Friday night.
Leon Powe's game-winning free throws with 13.6 seconds left came exactly as Red Sox shortstop Jed Lowrie was lining a sacrifice fly to right in the AL playoffs against Tampa Bay to give Boston a 1-0 lead. Fans begged Celtics coach Doc Rivers to call a timeout, so they could watch more of the baseball game on the scoreboard.
It was 94-all when Tarence Kinsey missed a jumper with 15 seconds left, and Lorenzen Wright fouled Powe going for the rebound. Powe's two free throws gave Boston a 96-94 lead. The Cavs missed two shots in the closing seconds.
The Celtics are making the rounds in New England this exhibition season, visiting Amherst, Mass., on Wednesday before dropping down to Rhode Island and then up to New Hampshire. The Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence was mostly full even though the game was up against the opener of the AL Championship Series.
Rivers took a second during the fourth quarter to check on the baseball score. Updates were also played on the arena scoreboard.
James played just eight minutes in Cleveland's exhibition debut on Tuesday, a 104-84 loss to Toronto. He finished with 15 points, two rebounds and an assist.
Cavaliers coach Mike Brown is trying to limit the minutes of his star, who was a key member of the U.S. team that won the Olympic gold medal.
Rivers is also wary of his players' workload, even though none of them played in Beijing this summer. Boston's season didn't end until June 17 after an 82-game regular season and 26 playoff games, including the seven-game victory over Cleveland in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
None of Boston's "Big Three" played more than 9½ minutes, all in the first quarter. Paul Pierce scored eight points, Ray Allen had five and Kevin Garnett scored four.
Celtics center Kendrick Perkins did not play because of surgery for the left shoulder injury he sustained in Game 4 of the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. Rivers was back after missing Wednesday's exhibition opener, a 98-92 loss to Philadelphia, to attend to a family matter in Orlando, Fla.
Cavaliers guard Sasha Pavlovic did not travel with the team to Providence to continue treatment on his right ankle. He experienced a mild sprain during practice Wednesday and is day-to-day.