Cavaliers rally past Celtics in Game 4

Solenn Plantier
Mai 31, 2017

The Cleveland Cavaliers looked ready to put the Boston Celtics away in the first half of Game 5 on Thursday night.

They were two of the NBA's best players during the regular season and played pivotal roles in helping their respective teams reach the Eastern Conference finals. Deron Williams added 14 off the bench for Cleveland, who led by as many as 39.

Although a layup from James got Boston's lead down to three points, 61-58, the Celtics went on a 5-0 run of their own. James came alive in the fourth and scored 15, of his 34 points, in the period. Love added 10 points and Irving chipped in nine.

The NBA Finals has its first "three-match", courtesy of a King who passed His Airness.

Those suggestions stem from the Celtics pulling out a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 3 in which Thomas was sidelined with a hip injury.

They've given themselves a chance to erase the sting of their 44-point loss in Game 2.

"What are you going to do?" said Cleveland's Kevin Love.

James corralled the loose ball and got the put-back to fall.

Cleveland and Golden State will meet in the Finals for a third straight season. "Because they got a tough group over there".

Led by Kyrie's career night, the Big Three did nearly all the heavy lifting on Tuesday night - combining for 93 points, the most Cleveland's power troika has ever tallied in a playoff game.

Of course, the Cavaliers stormed back to erase that deficit to take Game 4 and they finished off the Celtics Thursday night in Game 5 to advance to the NBA Finals for a third consecutive time.

Boston, missing the injured Isaiah Thomas, had 4 players in double figures, with Avery Bradley scoring a leading 19 points.

James led the way with 20 points on seven-of-eight shooting. He is also close to a triple-double with seven rebounds and seven assists. But it meant little as Celtics never led in any of their home games in the series. Their annoyance with one another is palpable, a dynamic only likely to be stoked by Warriors owner Joe Lacob calling for a rematch on account of "unfinished business", or by Cavs coach Tyronn Lue insisting that-against any conceivable logic-the Thomas-less Celtics are actually more hard to defend than the Warriors.

With James in foul trouble, Irving was forced to do more than ever and he delivered, scoring 19 in less than five minutes and 33 in a 19-minute stretch. They scored 36 points in the paint in the second half - primarily because of the ballet dancer wearing No. 2.

In Game 3, Kyrie Irving's heroics were all for naught. The 43 points Cleveland scored in the first quarter set a team postseason record for a quarter.

He did it with a three-pointer late in the third quarter - the first of a string of three straight from beyond the arc.

Over their next four baskets, the Cavaliers alternated twos and threes, as James threw down a thunderous right-handed dunk and shooting guard J.R. Smith followed up with an off-balance three-pointer from the right wing.

Irving hasn't lacked big moments since James's return to Cleveland.

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