Trailing by six in the opening quarter, the Cavaliers embarked on a 19-0 run. Person, who had averaged just 5.3 points in the preseason, sank his second three-pointer with 11:20 remaining in the first half to establish a 32-19 cushion.
The Celtics pulled within 100-95 with 3:07 left before the Cavs ended the game with a 10-0 burst to secure the first victory for new coach John Lucas.
Boston's star forwards had vastly different performances. Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 28 points and 10 rebounds. Antoine Walker, however, was frustrated by his two-for-10 shooting and was ejected for his second technical foul with 7:09 remaining in the first half.
A pair of Cleveland rookies were sidelined by injury. Teen-age center Desagana Diop, the team's first-round pick, has a stress fracture in his right foot. Guard Jeff Trepagnier is hobbled by a sprained left ankle.
Boston's rookies did not play well. Guard Joe Forte scored eight points in 19 minutes, but swingmen Joe Johnson and Kedrick Browen both were scoreless.