Published: Thu, May 25, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Celtics rally to beat Cavs

Celtics rally to beat Cavs

The defending National Basketball Association champions, who shot 71 percent in the second half to open a 3-1 lead in the series, can wrap up their third straight conference title - and a "three-match" against the Warriors - with a win in Game 5 on Thursday night in Boston. Bradley was good - 20 points and the game-winning shot. He had a career-high in points and rebounds per game.

Irving's previous career playoff high was 41 points, in Game 5 of the Finals last season against the Golden State Warriors, which had been the most points a James teammate had scored in the postseason.

LeBron James is focused on future and not the past after the Cleveland Cavaliers suffered a disappointing defeat against the Boston Celtics.

After Irving made a driving layup, James buried a 17-foot jump shot.

It would be one of James' only plays in the second quarter, as he sat for most of the quarter, with four fouls to his name.

The Celtics entered Game 3 as 16.5-point underdogs on the road without Isaiah Thomas after losing by 44 points in the previous game. Sunday's loss also snapped Cleveland's 13-game winning streak, and ideal 10-0 record in this year's playoffs. "As soon as the ball went out of his hands, you kind of knew that shot was going to go in because of how the game was just played throughout the second half".

"You nearly hit the. runner's high", Irving said.

James, determined to bounce back after a poor 11-point haul in Game 3, then steadied the Cleveland nerves in the fourth quarter, bringing the Cavaliers home for the win as Boston's courageous effort came up short.

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While the Cavaliers answered with an 8-2 scoring run of their own, fueled by a driving layup and three-pointer from point guard Kyrie Irving, the two teams played even over the remainder of the first half.

In Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Cavaliers All-Star had a blooper reel moment, missing a wide open dunk in the third quarter. He also had five turnovers. Then, with less than three minutes remaining, Bradley nailed a three-pointer to make the game 84-75.

Avery Bradley scored 19 and Jae Crowder 18 for Boston.

Regardless of Danny Ainge's decision, it is pretty clear that the Celtics are still a few pieces away from contending for the finals for years to come.

Marcus Smart top scored with 27 points for the Celtics, with Kyrie Irving leading the Cavs with 29. Also: There are absolutely way too many off days in between Finals games, and this would be the ideal supplement in between games.

In addition to making just four of his 13 looks and three of his six attempts from the free-throw line, James pulled down only six rebounds and handed out six assists. He passed up shots and made mental and physical mistakes normally reserved for others. Notice Bradley, the man who eventually hits the game-winner, doesn't start with the posture of someone about to steal a playoff game on his opponent's home floor, perhaps lulling J.R. Smith into a false sense of security.

The Cavs were up by 21 points in the third quarter and allowed the Celtics to get back in the game and eventually win it by three points.

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