No blame for LeBron after Celtics no-show, says Lue

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 23: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives against Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics in the third quarter during Game Four of the 2017 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on May 23, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio.

With James in foul trouble, Irving was forced to do more than ever and he delivered, scoring 19 in less than five minutes and 33 in a 19-minute stretch.

The Celtics pulled the ultimate shocker over reigning National Basketball Association champions the Cavs when they rallied in game three for a 111-108 victory in the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday.

Among the Celtics, Avery Bradley the hero of Game 3 was once again the best player with 19 points and five rebounds.

"Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas met with a hip specialist on Tuesday, the first in what's expected to be a series of visits created to determine the best rehabilitation plan after he was forced to shut down for the season during the Eastern Conference finals", ESPN reported on Wednesday.

Irving's performance surpassed his 41 points in Game 5 of the 2016 Finals, when the Cavs began their rally from a 3-1 deficit against the Warriors with a 15-point road victory. James recorded four personal fouls in the first half for the first time in his career and was used sparingly in the rest of the match."I've always stayed even-keeled", James said.OK, then.

In Tuesday's 112-99 Game 4 win Irving led a comeback from 16 points down and set a new single-game playoff best along the way with 42 points.

The Celtics will play at home for the Game 5 schedule on Thursday.

James was 0-4 from three point range heading into the 4th quarter, and he altered his strategy to better suit the team's needs. But, many people are focusing on the pitfalls of Lebron James, and his struggles in back-to-back games, rather than focusing on Irving's heroic performance. James, Irving and Kevin Love combined for 93 points, the most points the Cavs' three All-Stars have combined to score in a playoff game in their three seasons together. "But we definitely understand that this (Boston) team is not going to quit, they're going to fight, they're going to compete".

Lue however shrugged off the off night on yesterday as he prepared his team for today's Game 4 in Cleveland. The Celtics are also guarding against ending their season by having to watch the Cavs celebrate a conference title on their home floor. And Brad's got them moving and cutting and playing with pace, and everybody is a threat. He hit a driving layup with less than two minutes left in the third quarter, but stepped on one of Terry Rozier's feet. "(Kryie) saw LeBron went out, and he wanted to put the team on his shoulders, on his back, and just let us ride him until LeBron got back.

Furthermore, Golden State leads all playoff teams in points per game (118.3), field goal percentage (50.2) and assists per game (27.8), and it is second in offensive efficiency (115.8 points per 100 possessions).

Game 5 takes place in Boston on Thursday.

"He commanded us to be better". Boston finished the half, strong to push the lead back to 10 points, 57-47. "We know that, and we're going to play hard".

  • Zachary Reyes