LeBron James' last bad playoff game ever? Bud vs. Doug

The chatter about an NBA Finals' matchup of two teams with unblemished playoff records is gone, but the challenge from the Celtics has sharpened the focus of the defending champs.

It's also why Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said that his team must keep all thoughts of being on the cusp of a return to the NBA Finals at bay for now. Backcourt partner Avery Bradley wasn't much better as he went 7-of-19 from the field and 1-of-7 from beyond the arc. So I'd never believed I could beat Mike.

Something else was going on in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals while Kyrie Irving was flying through the air with the greatest of ease on his way to a 21-point third quarter and a 42-point game. And while James now leads in the playoff point totals, he still lags Jordan's regular-season point total.

Despite logging only 38 minutes, LeBron chalked 34 points, 5 rebounds and six assists.

He said his goal is not about passing Jordan in titles, points or MVP awards.

"I'm just happy and blessed that when I chose to come back that I was able to help him blossom, I guess, because he gets to play in games that he's always been built for". Hmmm. Don't expect the Cavaliers to rest on the fact that they have the 3-1 series lead; they know all about what can happen with them, and the last thing they'll want is for the jokes to start falling on them.

Kevin Love added 17 points and a career play-off-high 17 rebounds for Cleveland. The two closest active players: Tony Parker (4,012 points, 10th place all-time) and former teammate Dwyane Wade (3,871, 12th place). "We feel like we should be here, and we feel like we should be a championship-contending team".

The Cavs also set a franchise record for most points in a quarter in the play-offs by recording 43 in the first quarter of game five against the Celtics.

Even Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens had to admit it was a stunning performance by the Big Three.

"With Isaiah going down, that's 29 points a game, and now you got to scheme and try to do something for a whole 'nother system", Lue said of Thomas, who actually was averaging 23.3 points in these playoffs.

Look, the only way we'll ever know which player was truly the G.O.A.T.is to have them play one-on-one in the prime of their careers.

Complicating the Cavaliers' first-half pickle was the foul trouble LeBron James found himself in - picking up his fourth personal with 6:46 to play in the second period. He then sat out the fourth quarter of his 212th career postseason game.

A potent mix of adrenaline and circumstance helped Kyrie Irving to his feet in the third quarter of last night's game after twisting his ankle. "I think I fell in love with the game because of Mike, just because of what he was able to accomplish". Boston actually stretched the lead to 16, 49-33, with James on the bench but Irving took over with 10 consecutive points for Cleveland and they closed the gap back to 10 at the half. Will they become the first team in National Basketball Association history to go undefeated in a postseason?

  • Julie Sanders