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

Cleveland led 3-1 in the series with "Boston"

Cleveland led 3-1 in the series with

The Cavs trailed by 10 points at halftime in game four of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Celtics.

"We cannot go to Boston 2-2 and then it becomes almost an even series".Despite their collection of talent, the Cleveland Cavaliers have often gone as LeBron James goes since he returned to Cleveland.Crowder led all scorers with 11 points, while Olynyk and Bradley both finished the quarter with six points.

And it was an uncharacteristically passive performance by James, who had scored at least 30 in eight straight playoff games and imposed his will on the overmatched Celtics in the series' first two games.

Boston shot 47 percent from the field and 35 percent from the 3-point line in the first half of Game 4 on their way to building as much as a 16-point lead. The 93 points produced together by Irving, James and Love are the most they have amassed as a group and the second highest for a trio in team playoff history. They played a helluva game and they took it to us and we weren't able to stop the runs that they made, the momentum that they [built]. And entirely anomalously for a career 28% three-point shooter, they went in.

The Celtics have played their last game with Isaiah Thomas.

Ainge is known for being very active in trade discussions, and the Celtics had plenty of reason to make a deal, but the feeling was that they wanted to make a win-now move, not trade established pieces for another pick.

And speaking of rare, even leaving aside the odds and the arc both teams were tracing, there are a few other things that should not have happened in Game 3, but did.

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"It certainly pleased James who said this after the game: "(Irving) took command. And like Irving in the prior quarter, James went off in the fourth frame with 15 points to prevent any chance of a Celtics comeback.

"Kyrie Irving and LeBron James would be the two answers", Celtics coach Brad Stevens said when asked about the difference from the first half to the second. We know what we've got to do. "Didn't look good, but (Irving) said he's fine, got back up, continued to play, made some big shots".

Enter Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, who drove past and shot over the men dressed in green to lead the Cavaliers to a 112-99 victory at Quicken Loans Arena. At that precise moment, the Celtics had outscored the Cavs, 105-64, since trailing 77-56 midway through the third quarter of Game 3. He is the only player to be all-NBA and all-defensive team in his first 13 seasons. Thomas did not return in the second half due to a strained right hip.

A James layup put the Cavs up, 89-80, before Al Horford and Jae Crowder hit threes, trimming Cleveland's lead to four, 90-86.

Boston even managed to get LeBron James in foul trouble, which is something most teams can't do.

Turnovers were an issue for Boston in the second half. Hell, he hit one of the biggest shots in National Basketball Association history in the Finals just a year ago.

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