Irviing's 42, LeBron's 34 pushes Cavs past Celtics in Game 4

Ross Houston
May 26, 2017

Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue refused to point the finger of blame at LeBron James yesterday, a day after a woeful performance from the National Basketball Association star gave the Boston Celtics a postseason lifeline.

The Cleveland Cavaliers used a strong second half run to pull away and defeat the Boston Celtics, 112-99, in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday morning (Philippine time) at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James celebrates his three point basket during the second half of Game 5 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics, on Thursday, May 25, 2017, in Boston.

Now the Cavs, with a 3-1 series lead, need to beat the Celtics one more time to get their rematch with Golden State in the NBA Finals.

Boston: Bradley (19), Crowder (18 + 8 rebounds), Horford (16 + 7 assists).

"I mean, a game like that just happens", Lue said. "It's our job to make sure that we defend him as best we can and just make every - take other guys out of the game".

"In the third quarter, the whole game just turned around", Terry Pluto says. LeBron even broke the playoff record for points with 5,989, and he's only going to add to that when they play the Golden State Warriors in the league championship.

And while they won Game 3 and had the Cavaliers on the ropes in Game 4 before losing, they know their chance to play NBA Finals spoiler is just about up.

Boston's lead was 49-33 with 5:30 left in the quarter and 57-47 at halftime, despite the Celtics missing Isaiah Thomas, their leading scorer, who is out with a hip injury. His teammates celebrated with Thomas via FaceTime following their Game 3 win.

Love continued to knock down shots from the outside, Irving sliced his way into the lane to the rim and James got free for several of his one-handed, tomahawk dunks. "As the stakes get higher and higher, his game gets higher and higher, but it was nothing surprising for me".

"The kid is special", James said.

It wasn't just James' 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting that killed Cleveland. In fact, the Celtics never had the lead in any of the three games in Boston.

Cleveland also made some team history tonight.

While the Warriors have posted a ideal 12-0 record in the playoffs this season, the Cavs have almost matched them.

It was the Cavs' second double-digit comeback after the half this postseason (they stormed back from 26 down in IN in Game 3 of the first round), and they joined the Golden State Warriors with two such second-half surges in these playoffs.

"You know they're giving us everything that they have, and we're expecting it, and we want the challenge". (In Game 4), they played well again, but we were able to play well, especially in the second half, and we defended.

With James in foul trouble, Irving stayed on the floor despite rolling his left ankle in the third quarter, when he scored 19 points in less than five minutes. It's not something we're going to hang our head on.

"He's got to be aggressive, get downhill, play like he's been playing, play confident", Smith said Monday after practice.

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