Kyrie Irving leads Cleveland past Boston for 3-1 series lead

Ross Houston
May 25, 2017

The Celtics couldn't, either.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are now just one win shy of their third straight NBA Finals appearance after a hard-fought 112-99 win over the Boston Celtics in game four of the Eastern Conference Finals. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving had just 6 points each on a combined 4-10 shooting.

More to come on the King during 'LeBron James Says'.

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.

In addition to having the No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft, and all sorts of roster decisions to make, the Celtics will be awaiting word on whether or not their star point guard, Isaiah Thomas, will need hip surgery.

Imagine being down by 13 points and losing the best player in the world to his fourth foul before the second quarter of Game 4 in the Eastern Conference finals is even over. He capped his blistering 19-point outburst with a three in the final second of the quarter and celebrated at midcourt by pretending to put two pistols back in his holster.

"You know, the more games you play, the more things can happen", coach Tyronn Lue said.

While Irving's scoring ignited the Cavs' comeback, it was made possible thanks to Cleveland's defensive effort over the final 24 minutes.

"I was saying to myself, 'They can not tie up this series, they can not, ' " Irving said. Boston fell behind early, 5-0, then went on an 11-0 tear to serve notice they weren't conceding anything. "We needed everything tonight".

Irving scared Cleveland fans when he stepped on Terry Rozier's foot and rolled his ankle late in the third quarter.

"I've twisted my ankle so many times that plays like that, you have two choices, either you can sit there and kind of wallow in the sorrow of you twisting your ankle or capture the moment", Irving said.

He took the attitude that, "I just find ways to get into the lane, to get in transition, to back off and shoot the jumper".

Avery Bradley led the Celtics with 19 points, and Jae Crowder added 18 points and eight rebounds. "You only show up when we lose".

The Celtics proved to be a tough cover without Thomas again in the first half, bringing to mind their second-half success in their 111-108 win in Game 3.

Irving said he was driven by the thought of the Cavs seeing their series lead vanish.

For a night, Irving, who is as good as any guard in the league today, was as good as any guard who has ever played the game.

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