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2017 NBA Playoffs -- Cavs seize Game 4, take commanding 3-1 lead over reeling Celtics (PHOTOS)


PhilBoxing.com




CLEVELAND -- With LeBron James mired in foul trouble, Kyrie Irving picked up the slack and led a 40-23 third quarter onslaught that catapulted the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 112-99 triumph over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night at the Quicken Loans Arena.

The come-from-behind win gave the NBA defending champion Cavaliers a comfortable 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference finals, pushing them a game away from a third straight NBA Finals showdown against the Golden State Warriors, who punched their ticket with a sweep of the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night.

With LeBron sitting on the bench after picking up his fourth foul at the 6:46 mark of the second quarter, Irving kept the Cavs, who trailed by as many as 16 points, afloat. The Celtics, who shot just 44.3 percent from the field, couldn't capitalize on James' absence and took a mere 57-47 halftime bubble.

That proved to be fateful as Irving took over in the third stanza, finishing with 42 points overall on 15-of-22 shooting, including four 3s. LeBron joined the fray in the second half where Cleveland outscored Boston, 65-42.

Despite logging only 38 minutes, LeBron chalked 34 points, 5 rebounds and six assists.

The Cavs bench contributed a meager 7 points total from Iman Shumpert and Deron Williams but that was compensated by Kevin Love's 17 points and 17 rebounds.

​Avery Bradley paced the Celtics with 19 points while Jae Crowder had 18 points and 8 rebounds. Al Horford accounted for 16 and 6 dimes and Kelly Olynyk added 15 points for Boston, which made only 10 of 31 triples and was out-rebounded 37-29.​

The Celtics try to stay alive in these playoffs when they host Game 5 at the TD Garden in Boston on Thursday night (Friday AM in Manila).

Photo: A full capacity crowd taking in all the excitement of the Cavs-Celtics Eastern Conference Finals Game 4.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Andrew Schroeder.


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