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

Irving, LeBron push Cavs past Celtics in Game 4

Irving totaled 42 points in a final score that saw the Boston Celtics lose 112-99 in game 4, and now fall behind Cleveland 3-1 in the series as they head back home to Boston for game 5 of the series facing elimination.

The Boston Celtics remain alive in their futile attempt to unseat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. Then, James caught a pass from Irving and threw down a slam dunk that brought the crowd to its feet and got the Cavaliers to within seven points of the Celtics, 61-54, with 8:42 to play in the third quarter.

Everybody knows the conference finals are just a tune up for the Cavs inevitable — or as conspiracy theorists call it, “pre-ordained” — rematch with Golden State for the championship belt. It was the first time in his 14-year career he had that many fouls in the first half.

The Cavs are now up 3-1, the most risky lead in sports.

In fact, this game had all of the characteristics of the previous three between the teams, near 20-point leads in the first half (66-48), and Celtics missing bunny after bunny. Irving hit 15 of his 22 shots on the night.

Lue chuckled before the game when he was asked if he planned to say anything to James following his sub-standard performance in Game 3. "We have to execute offensively". When his 3-pointer splashed with a half-second left in the quarter, the Cavs led 87-80. "Just expect him to be better in Game 4".

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

Those thoughts of Irving's dominance were almost dashed in the third quarter when he went down with an apparent ankle injury.

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Irving stayed on the floor for several seconds before sitting up and re-tying his sneaker.

It appeared the Celtics were going through the motions, nearly as if they were anticipating the exciting Cavs-Warriors finals like the rest of the country. Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors, who cruised to a sweep of the San Antonio Spurs, averaged 115 in their series. The Celtics are also guarding against ending their season by having to watch the Cavs celebrate a conference title on their home floor.

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It's an indication that despite still being in a dire 3-1 hole, the resolve inside Boston's locker room remains strong.

"I've learned from some of the best that have played this game, and you can't cheat it".

"He put us on his back and carried us", Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said.

"You can't (think about it)". "As much as you want to, it's not over. But we definitely understand that this (Boston) team is not going to quit, they're going to fight, they're going to compete". Iso, where he's one of the best in the league and he produced for us.

"We've been in that position before", Love said. "Because they got a tough group over there". But Marcus Smart banked in a three to make it 64-58. "But they deserve a lot of credit, those two guys are incredible".

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