Irving's 42 carry Cavs to win, 3-1 lead over Celtics
May 26 2017 by Dustin Murphy
After blowing a 21-point third quarter lead in Game 3, Cleveland didn't look much better after the first quarter of Game 4. They took a fourth-quarter lead and Avery Bradley's three-pointer at the buzzer delivered Boston the most improbable of wins, 111-108.
Game 4 takes place in Boston on Thursday.
Kevin Love added 17 points and a career playoff-high 17 rebounds for Cleveland.
"As we all know, a 10-point lead at halftime is nothing, especially against those guys".
"It's fun to watch knowing that when he has bad nights, a lot of times some very, very, very good nights follow", said Cavs forward James Jones, who has been James' teammate the past seven years.
He ended the half scoring 12 of the Cavs final 14 points. Cleveland limited the Celtics to 41 percent from the field and 29 percent from beyond the arc. Not bad for an off game. "We have to execute offensively. Just expect him to be better in Game Four".
Everyone will have one eye on Irving's left ankle.
Even still, Lue says he hasn't started game planning for a Warriors matchup just yet. Irving stayed on the floor for several seconds before sitting up and re-tying his left sneaker. They looked exhausted, confused, and unsure of themselves. Coach Brad Stevens said no decision had been made yet on whether Thomas would undergo an operation but he reiterated that he is out for the remainder of the playoffs.
It's an indication that despite still being in a dire 3-1 hole, the resolve inside Boston's locker room remains strong. Those performances have come despite being without their best player in Isaiah Thomas, who is done for the season after re-injuring his hip in Game 2.
And Irving proved that he can carry this Cavs team when LeBron struggles.
"You can't (think about it)".
Irving said Cleveland would benefit from having been put under pressure by Boston in Game 3.
"A game like that just happens", Lue said.
Personally, I'd like to see the Celtics lower Thomas from the rafters during a timeout in the first quarter a la Sting. When he gets going like that, he's tough to stop. "The fourth one, he ran the guy (Terry Rozier) over". Stevens wished his team had done more to contest certain shots at the rim and labeled nine second-half turnovers "a killer for us".