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Kyrie Irving's monster night fuels Cavaliers in Game 4 comeback

Kyrie Irving's monster night fuels Cavaliers in Game 4 comeback

Cleveland, stunned by Boston in Game 3 after romping two blowout wins in the opening two games of the Eastern Conference series, looked to be heading for another shock as the Celtics dominated the first half.

Lue's comment is interesting, since the Warriors are unanimously considered a better team than the Celtics.

He took the baton and bashed the Celtics over the head with it, scoring 15 points on 7-for-11 shooting in the frame, making sure Horford's clutch buckets didn't matter. In fact, it's anything but. They even held Tristan Thompson to one offensive rebound, a noble feat considering how many problems he normally gives them.

"I don't think I've ever had four fouls in a game before in the first half, so my rhythm is kind of broken and you've got to figure out ways you can still help the team, and my team-mates said be aggressive, be you", he said. All of that was before his remarkable run during these National Basketball Association playoffs, when he played through the tragic death of his sister and repeated health issues - including multiple dental procedures and ongoing hip issues - to lead Boston back to the Eastern Conference finals.

Without injured star Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs will surrender in four straight and the hubbub over James' miserable Game 4 showing guarantees he won't disappear in the series again. And considering Thomas has already been ruled out for the playoffs, there shouldn't be a rush judgement made here. But next summer, Thomas will be an unrestricted free agent. Stevens said Thomas may consult with two additional specialists. "They're paying everybody else". "Same thing I've been saying since I got here". "He was able to get by us and make tough shots in the paint". Chase Gordon Hayward, draft Markelle Fultz, grow organically, continue scanning the trade market, and see if the Cavaliers develop more cracks down the road.

Inking him to such a deal, however, would come with serious risks. "We should be a lot better in Game 5".

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The barely-breathing Celtics went in to Game 3 as 16.5-point underdogs and trailed by 21 points halfway through the third quarter.

The Cavs and Celtics played role reversal in Game 4 before a sellout crowd of 20,562 that included actor Matthew McConaughey, UFC fighter Stipe Miocic and rapper Machine Gun Kelly.

Asked to give a reason for Boston's second half problems, Celtics coach Brad Stevens had a simple answer: "Kyrie Irving and LeBron James".

Those defensive liabilities aren't going to lessen as the undersized Thomas begins to age and lose a step, either. A few possessions later, Boston led 49-33.

Down by 12 in the early part of the third quarter after a Celtics basket, the Cavaliers slowed chipped away at the deficit with Irving and James at the forefront of the comeback effort. But the point guard did, and did. The hope is Irving will play Thursday night in a potential series clincher at Boston.