Irving and LeBron push Cavs past Celtics to victory

After the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals - it looked as if it was going to be a complete sweep and domination by the Cavaliers.

What's that? A three-time champion, four-time MVP, two-time Olympic gold medalist, global icon, billion-dollar-business-in-sneakers, wasn't confident? We've got a lot of guys with a lot of playoff minutes who've been in situations like that before.

Kyrie Irving was at his explosive best May 23 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals. It's not enough for him. And don't forget his classic Game 4 no-show against Dallas in the 2011 Finals, when he totaled just eight points.

Kyrie Irving scored 41 points in the win, as he took on the burden of LeBron James' absence.

Since Boston were without Isaiah Thomas due to a hip injury, the Cavaliers should have been able to keep the mojo going and dispatch the Celtics easily. "I hope we can continue to play with that chip on our shoulder and come out the same way next game".

"I didn't have it", James said afterward, and that was no understatement.

A moment later, he added, "That's all I've got to say about my performance". But we went into the half with a 10-point lead. 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.

"Marcus Smart made 15 out of 77 off-the-dribble threes this year", Lue said, defending his defensive plan on Smart.

And he topped that last night with 34.

The Celtics played well early, but couldn't hang with Irving and James in the end. Usually, he hangs around to work on his game, but on this day No. 23 wasn't visible.

"Past it", James said.

"It was critical for us", Jae Crowder said. "We lost; it happens". They played a hell of a game and they took it to us and we weren't able to stop the runs that they made. He's human. He didn't shoot the ball well.

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.

"With the best player in the world, they go to unreal, but they're still a pretty darned good team when those guys are out there", Stevens said.

  • Julie Sanders