Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics, Game 4 of Eastern Conference Finals

Enter Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, who drove past and shot over the men dressed in green to lead the Cavaliers to a 112-99 victory at Quicken Loans Arena.

The defending National Basketball Association champions, who shot 71 percent in the second half to open a 3-1 lead in the series, can wrap up their third straight conference title - and a "three-match" against the Warriors - with a win in Game 5 on Thursday night in Boston.

Irving piled on 21 points in the third period as Cleveland turned their 10-point half-time deficit into an 87-80 lead at the end of the third quarter.

Without a doubt, James impost his will by driving to the basket several times in the fourth quarter as Boston's defense couldn't stop him.

Avery Bradley scored 19 and Jae Crowder 18 for Boston. Al Horford put down 16 points and 7 rebounds.

Up Next- After rallying past the Celtics on Tuesday night, the Cavaliers will look to close out the Celtics on Thursday night when their return to Boston for Game 5.

"Coming out of halftime I just wanted to be aggressive, lead my guys and leave it all out there on the floor", Irving said.

Like in the previous match, we saw a comeback in the third quarter, but this time, unfortunately for the Celtics, they weren't the team who won in the end.

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. Crowder started the game 4 of 5 but finished 6 of 12.

And then handing the ball to Kyrie Irving, getting out of the way, and watching him bring the team to the doorstep of the NBA Finals. James struggled offensively early in the game going 2/6, and facing foul trouble early in the game, collecting his 4th with 6 minutes to go in the 2nd quarter, forcing him to ride the bench for the remainder of the half.

Thursday: at Boston, 8:30 p.m. Normally fundamentally sound, James committed six turnovers, stole only one pass and blocked just one shot.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens was disappointed with his team's defense on Irving, who was able to spread the floor while surrounded by shooters.

"Some of the plays that we made, some of the plays that I made, I was like, 'What are we doing?' or 'What could I have done better?' But you figure out the next game and go forward".

"But he's still obviously really sore. the last [doctor] said that some of the inflammation that he has, has to go down before they can make the final call".

The Boston Herald's Mark Murphy reports that Kelly Olynyk will start in Johnson's stead. The Celtics used their third different starting lineup in four games against Cleveland.

James scored just 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting, including an 0-for-4 showing from three-point range, in the Cavaliers' loss to the Celtics, their only setback in 11 outings during the first three rounds of the 2017 NBA Playoffs and first since Game 4 of the 2016 NBA Finals.

  • Julie Sanders