Box Score 5/25: The Cavaliers look to close out the Celtics

What you probably didn't hear about was his 34 points that helped the Cleveland Cavaliers take a commanding 3-1 lead over the Boston Celtics as the series shifts back to the Boston.

James, determined to bounce back after a poor 11-point haul in Game 3, then steadied the Cleveland nerves in the fourth quarter, bringing the Cavaliers home for the win as Boston's fearless effort came up short.

The 32-year-old James, who is seeking a fourth National Basketball Association title, took 212 postseason games to surpass Jordan, a six-time champion who played 179 playoff games. For a team that seems to live and die by the three, this team died by the three in Game 4. The three-time champion's career playoff numbers also rank him third in assists and field goals; fourth in 3-pointers; seventh in rebounds; ninth in games (now one behind Manu Ginobili); 21st in blocks; and (welp) first in turnovers.

Irving led the Cavs with a postseason-high 42 points off 15-22 shooting and shot 57.1% from behind the arc.

Fighting to keep their season alive, the Celtics aren't giving an inch despite playing without All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas, who may need surgery on a hip injury. We can't turn the ball over that much because it leads to points. He capped his blistering 19-point outburst with a 3 in the final second of the quarter and celebrated at mid-court by pretending to put two pistols back in his holster. Nothing was keeping him out.

"It's never even been brought up", said Stevens.

"The comparison of always trying to compare people, either living or still playing or not playing - I think it's great for barbershops". When he gets going like that, he's tough to stop. The lack of competition has allowed us to look past the team's kinks, especially on the defensive end.

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.

And despite Cleveland's closing out eight of its last 10 playoff series with road wins, having battled the Celtics in several playoff series throughout his career, Cavaliers small forward LeBron James knows well that closing out a matchup in Boston will be anything but easy.

It's unusual to imagine the Celtics could lose their leading scorer - Thomas was averaging 23.3 points a game before a hip injury in Game 2 of the conference finals ended his season - and be more of a challenge. I'll go back and look at it again.

  • Julie Sanders