Cavs-Celtics highlights: Kyrie Irving puts on unbelievable third-quarter show

So maybe that's what'll get the big national play today: When LeBron picked up his fourth foul (that's right, his fourth!) in the second quarter and disappeared for the remaining 6:46 of the half, Irving picked up his game.

It is still hard for anyone to see the Cavs losing this series but Game 3 showed that the Cavs are at least vulnerable and that LeBron James is human.

When the two teams left Boston after Game Two, the Cavs had beaten the Celtics by 44 points for the most lopsided win in Eastern finals history, a defeat that both stung and inspired Stevens' side. And in the Eastern Conference finals, one team clearly has more of it. "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.

"I didn't have it", said James.

James still finished with a strong stat line for the night - 34 points, six assists, five rebounds and a blocked shot.

"LeBron got peeved at heckling fan after game. But when that happens, you've got to be able to get stops, especially being up 20 points".

Cavaliers: Irving scored 41 in Game 5 of last year's Finals.

"For us as players, we don't take it personal if we have an off night and the next guy goes up, so I think that says a lot on its own about our maturity because we are a veteran team". The Cavs had been playing a glorified game of H.O.R.S.E. with the Warriors, who are undefeated and can complete a sweep of San Antonio on Monday night. "We know that. Just expecting him to be better in Game 4". They absorbed the absence of Thomas, moved the ball, and shot better. "Every time we scored, they came back and scored".

Crowder and the Celtics are looking forward to going home and redeeming themselves after the blowout losses in Games 1 and 2.

“Thats no excuse. They played well, but weve just got to play better, be more physical.”.

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James (23) looks to drive on Boston Celtics' Terry Rozier (12) during the first half of Game 4 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Cleveland. Thomas initially injured his hip in March and played the final two months of the regular season before aggravating it during the playoffs. He had a career-high in points and rebounds per game. "If it goes in or doesn't go in, they have a timeout left". "I feel like you have to have some type of adversity in order to be successful. They answered back with everything we answered".

Boston couldn't have won without an enormous effort, something it did even as star Isaiah Thomas is out for the postseason with a hip injury, and even though the team trailed by 21 points in the first half.

Cleveland committed 15 turnovers, including five in the fourth quarter. "I just wish he was here". I'm tempted to take the Celtics with the handy start as they've been surprisingly more competitive without Isaiah Thomas, but I think the Cavs wear black to Boston and close out the series with a double-digit win to book their ticket to the NBA Finals.

  • Julie Sanders