Irving's 42, LeBron's 34 power Cavs in Game 4 ouster of Celtics

Ivan Schwartz
May 26, 2017

James spoke Thursday during the morning shootaround before the Cavaliers play the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Kyrie Irving takes a jumper during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Celtics on May 23.

Avery Bradley topped the Celtics with 19 points.

With Cleveland in jeopardy of dropping its second game in a row after James followed an 11-point Game 3 debacle by picking up four first-half fouls, Irving put on a breathtaking one-man show.

Many of those matches were played with Thomas on the court, but Marcus Smart has the potential to bounce back from a horrific Game 4 performance in which he scored just eight points on 1-of-9 shooting.

The Cavs overcame deficits as large as 16 points in the second quarter and 10 points at halftime to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have won 12 straight games where they have an opportunity to end an NBA Playoff series.

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Irving kept Cleveland within striking distance while James was out by scoring 12 points over the final 5:11 of the second quarter. The Celtics are in a unique situation where they are a good National Basketball Association team and have plenty of cap space.

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The Celtics will host the Cavs for Game 5 Thursday night.

Regardless of how this series turns out, the Celtics have played inspired the last two games without injured point guard Isaiah Thomas, splitting them and covering the spread both times on the Vegas odds. It was a punch in the nose to a Cavs team that still seemed rubbery-legged from the haymaker Boston hit them with in that Game 3 slugfest.

The Cavaliers outscored the Celtics 65-42 in the second half, thanks to Irving's playoff career high in points.

But despite entering the game as the favourite and taking on a Boston side without Isaiah Thomas, James has outlined the difficulty he and his teammates will face at TD Garden against a very desperate Celtics squad.

The Celtics offense was totally in need of a spark in the fourth quarter but they couldn't find anybody to take the lead until the Cavaliers controlled the game. "You can tell he puts in a lot of work in his game". The four-time MVP finished with 34 points and did not get called for a foul in the second half. We can't turn the ball over that much because it leads to points. His physical tools are obvious, but he also sees and thinks the game better than most. But we know if we play the next play the right way, we've got a chance to win that possession. The Spurs started Ginobili in what could be his final game with the team. This caused coach Tyronn Lue to have to sit him for the latter half of the second quarter.

The Celts were hoping to throw some interesting wrinkles at the unquestionably superior Cavaliers in this series; just nothing as drastic as getting your best player sidelined with a hip injury that may require surgery. "Our backs are against the wall, but we feel like we're playing better basketball". "They're playing a lot differently now, so we're trying to figure out exactly what they're running, things of that nature, so it's been very hard on us without IT on the floor". Offensively, I thought we moved and cut and played together, and then for whatever reason, all those things became a little bit more hard. Cavs G J.R. Smith and his wife brought home from the hospital their baby daughter Dakota, who had been in a Cleveland-area NICU since her birth in January.

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