Cleveland, stunned by Boston in Game 3 after romping two blowout wins in the opening two games of the Eastern Conference series, looked to be heading for another shock as the Celtics dominated the first half.
After the Cavs won Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday - a game they trailed by 10 at the half - LeBron James made a point of saying that the Celtics were tougher to defend because everything Cleveland planned for went out the window when Thomas got hurt.
According to Cleveland head coach Tyronn Lue, there's a reason for this. "We can't go back to Boston tied 2-2".
Kyrie Irving led Cleveland with 42 points as they take a commanding 3-1 series lead. James had 20. Kyrie Irving had 19 and Kevin Love 12 points.
But before the Cavs could set up the historic three-match, the Cavs had to get past a pesky Celtics team which managed to remain competitive in this series despite losing their All-Star point guard, Isaiah Thomas, to a hip injury. In 34 minutes of action, James finished with 35 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
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Moreover, in the second quarter, Boston got 16 points, and the leader of the "Cavaliers" LeBron James for too many personal violations, was forced to sit on the bench.
"As the stakes get higher and higher, his game gets higher and higher, but (his performance in game four) was nothing surprising for me".
A potent mix of adrenaline and circumstance helped Kyrie Irving to his feet in the third quarter of last night's game after twisting his ankle.
To cap it off, Irving drilled a deep 3-pointer to allow the Cavs to go from down 10 at the half to up by seven at the end of the third. Just getting to that point, you know how hard it is and how much work you put in to start the season. "You guys are gonna have the conversations about who's the greatest of all time and things of that nature, it doesn't matter to me". But all that talk surrounding Thomas was vanquished when Kyrie Irving and the Cavaliers responded in style during Game 4. A blown lead will result in a Cleveland win, and rob the Celtics of a chance to win a title.
Bradley shot just 7 of 19 from the field. Jordan scored 5,987 in his postseason career in 179 games from 1985-2003.
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Then in the third quarter, Uncle Drew woke up and with 21 points in that part of the clash, he completely changed the course of this meeting.
The Celtics showed tremendous ball movement in the first half and was able to draw four fouls on LeBron James.
Then the Celtics took over, scoring 11 straight points and to take all the energy out of QuickenLoans Arena.
"I don't care who you're playing, to make it to the NBA Finals, to win your conference finals, it's a big task", Brown said.
It picked up steam last season, when David Blatt was sacked at midseason with the Cavs owning a 30-11 record, general manager David Griffin saying his team was great when the chips were down, but that the locker room didn't seem happy when things were going well.
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