LeBron James hasn't always been dominant the game after a bad performance

Irving took over in the second half and finished with 42 points despite playing on a tender ankle, LeBron James added 34 and the Cleveland Cavaliers moved within one win of an nearly inevitable third date in the NBA Finals with Golden State by rallying to beat Boston 112-99 on Tuesday night in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Cleveland started out sloppy in the first quarter.

So he let James, who was out of sorts early, stay in the game because the Celtics had built a comfortable lead.

Despite being in an uphill battle against the mighty Cleveland Cavaliers, the Boston Celtics are still riding high when it comes to their future.

It must be said that there was another reason the Celtics managed to close the gap in the fourth quarter and eventually take the lead: Love and James combined to score nine points on 2-of-13 shooting in the second half while also amassing four turnovers during that stretch.

Kevin Love was terrific in the first half, finishing with 22 points on 11 shots. The heroics from Uncle Drew were needed, especially as LeBron James long struggled to find his rhythm while playing much of the game in foul trouble.

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-7 series.

As he walked down a hallway inside Quicken Loans Arena to the postgame news conference, James, who scored just 11 points and only one in the final 18 minutes, was heckled by the fan for his sub-par outing.

Game 5 of the series is Thursday (8:30 p.m., TNT) at TD Garden in Boston, where the Celtics will to stave off elimination.

Lue however shrugged off the off night on Monday as he prepared his team for Tuesday's Game 4 in Cleveland. "Great job", said Popovich, who also saluted Ginobili in what might have been his final game.

Freezing Boston defenders with his dribble and driving to the basket whenever he wanted, Irving made six layups, two 3-pointers and a free throw in a dizzying span of 4:48. 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].

Cavs coach Tyronn 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 knew that coming into tonight.

The Cavaliers outscored the Celtics 58-34 in the paint and 16-4 in fast break points.

NOTES: Celtics G Isaiah Thomas (right hip injury) visited with an undisclosed specialist to determine the course of action for his surgery.

The Cavs played with speed and pace and we all know how that chapter ended.

Kyle Anderson scored 20 points to lead the Spurs, who were without Leonard, Tony Parker and David Lee.

First, Avery Bradley made the game-winner with 0.1 left on the clock.

Moses Malone famously predicted the 76ers team would go "Fo', Fo', Fo'" in the 1983 playoffs, sweeping all three rounds in four games".

"The guy is a tremendous basketball player". "That's what good teams do and we have to be ready for anything they bring to the table".

  • Julie Sanders