Sports

Irving's 42 carries Cavaliers past Celtics

Irving's 42 carries Cavaliers past Celtics

When James bowled over Boston Celtics reserve guard Terry Rozier on a drive with 6:46 remaining in the second quarter, he picked up his fourth foul.

Without Isaiah Thomas, Boston's center is the team's No. 1 option on offense.

But a rate of 110 points per 100 possessions often isn't efficient enough against a Cleveland offense that has scored a ridiculous 119.5 points per 100 possessions over its 12 playoff games, with a combination of two of the league's best one-on-one players and several of the league's best shooters. 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. He then stepped to the free-throw line because even a rolled ankle can't stop Irving from finishing at the rim. You could have made SportsCenter's Top 10 last night with 10 plays from Irving's Game 4 theatrics and not even batted an eyelash.

Your defensive principles may be great, but if you can't stay in front of the ball-handler, you're in trouble.

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But that was nothing compared to what Irving did in the third quarter. So we're trying to figure out exactly what they're running and things of that nature. Next, some guy named Jonas Jerebko, who spends enough time on the bench to practice shots from there, got on the floor and went a ideal 4-for-4.

"There was the time back in 1983 when somebody asked the late Moses Malone for a prediction about the playoffs, and he said, "'Fo 'fo 'fo", meaning he thought the 76ers would win four straight in three straight series, when all you had to do was win three series to win the title. We've got a lot of guys with a lot of playoff minutes who've been in situations like that before. So yeah, there's choices. It doesn't matter who you're going against or how you get the job done, you're just trying to figure it out, and I think we did that. "The ones we gotta look at are the ones he got at the rim".

Why couldn't the Celtics take advantage without James on the floor?

Just look at this crossover that makes Tyler Zeller looks like he's learning how to ice skate backwards for the first time.

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Cleveland had appeared to be cruising towards a 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals after romping to victory in the opening two games of the best-of-seven series.

All Star guard Kyrie Irving then proceeded to take the helm and lead his side back into the contest on with a spectacular offensive performance, scoring nearly at will as the Cavs gradually eroded the Celtics' lead.

Indeed, the Cavs - after giving up a combined 118 points to the Celtics in the second half of Game 3 and the first half of Game 4 - hunkered down after the break Tuesday, holding Boston to only 42 points on 41.1 percent shooting in the second half.

"He's a special talent", James said about Irving. It's not something we're going to hang our head on.

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