Celtics eliminated from Eastern finals by Cavaliers 135-102

Esther Moore
May 31, 2017

First came a step back 3, then a driving layup and a minute later another 3 to get the deficit back to 10. "Just expect him to be better in game four". He continued in the third quarter, playing all 12 minutes to score 21 points on 90 percent shooting in the period.

LeBron James was far more assertive in the second half, particularly in the fourth quarter.

That's all the the Cleveland Cavaliers need to clinch their third straight trip to the NBA Finals, where they would, for the third time in a row, face the Golden State Warriors.

In the midst of his third quarter scoring spree, a raucous Quicken Loans Arena let out a collective gasp as Irving laid on the baseline in agonizing pain after landing on Terry Rozier's foot and rolling his left ankle.

"My adrenaline is still going at this point, so I'm pretty sure when I get home my body will probably hate me, but it's the magnitude of the moment and what's at stake, and I wasn't coming out", Irving said.

Irving made nine of his ten shots in the 40-23 third quarter, grilling the Celtics off the dribble with his ridiculous array of moves to the basket and a deep three-pointer to end the quarter. "That's what I always think, [with] people of his stature or people like him, you've got to play confident the whole night and play aggressive". The Cavs now hold a 3-1 series lead.

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On the heels of a 44-point win over the Celtics in Game 2 at TD Garden, the Cavaliers were looking to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. The Cavs gave up 61 points in the second half, and while Kevin Love, 28, went on a tear, scoring 22 points in the first half, most of the Cavalier offense took half-the-night off. "We can't go back to Boston tied 2-2".

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

Here's what we learned from Game 4. "They can not. We can not go to Boston 2-2 and then it becomes nearly an even series". He was hobbling around a bit in the fourth quarter, but the severity of his injury is unclear.

Avery Bradley scored 19 and Jae Crowder 18 for Boston. "But the loss is behind us, and now, we've got to play better".

Lue chuckled before the game when he was asked if he planned to say anything to James following his sub-standard performance during Game 3. They're 5-4 in the post-season so far.

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