Celtics Lose to Cavaliers 135-102 and Are Eliminated From Playoffs

Ross Houston
May 26, 2017

The Cavaliers basically conceded the East's top seed to the Celtics at the end of the regular season by opting to rest its starters in advance of the playoffs.

With a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers arrived in Boston looking to close out the Celtics in Game 5. Irving was able to stay on the floor and finish the game, scoring a career playoff-high 42 points. He did it while James sat half of the second quarter after picking up four fouls in the first half.

Kyrie Irving added 24 points and Kevin Love finished with 15 for the Cavs, who never trailed and led by as many as 39 points in one of their most dominating wins of the series. "Now we can start focusing on Golden State to get ready".

The win means James is going to his seventh straight finals and will rematch with the team his Cavs beat to win the National Basketball Association championship previous year.

After spirited performances in games 3 and 4 in Cleveland, the Celtics came out flat tonight in Boston. Both the Cavs and Celtics shot 47 percent in the first half of Game 4, then Kyrie and company made a decision to go supernova, rattling off 40 points on 72.7 percent shooting in the third quarter. When his 3-pointer splashed with a half-second left in the quarter, the Cavs led 87-80. But a quick review of the record shows this wasn't his only playoff clunker.

It was a very welcomed sight in Irving's case, after he rolled his left ankle in the third quarter of Cleveland's Game 4 win. When one of the best perimeter defenders in the game, Bradley, is struggling to guard Irving, there isn't much else that can be done to stop an offensive attack as deadly as Cleveland's.

The Celtics, who are missing their best player, injured guard Isaiah Thomas, led by as many as 16 points in the first half and appeared primed to stun Cleveland again while James flirted with disaster.

They've already accomplished that thanks to their stunning Game 3 win, and they came out guns blazing in the first half of Game 4 before everything changed after halftime.

Celtics: Thomas spoke to coach Brad Stevens and told him that he has visited one hip specialist and plans to see more before it's decided if he needs surgery.

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