James still finished Tuesday night's game with 34 points despite picking up his fourth foul with 6:46 left in the first half.
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. They now have a maximum of three games to get that one crucial win.
Irving abused Kelly Olynyk in help situations from the opening tip of Game 4.
At this point, things looked kind of bleak for the defending champs. "They can not. We can not go to Boston 2-2 and then it becomes nearly an even series". Irving was down on the court and clutching his left ankle, but was able to stay in the game. Nothing was keeping him out. "You have to tip your hat to those two tonight."A THIRD WHEEL?But I want to add a third planet to the Cavs galaxy of stars.One of the most important players was Kevin Love.Give Love 17 points..."
Lue told reporters Wednesday that since the Celtics lost All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas to a season-ending hip injury in Game 2, Boston has become nearly impossible to scheme against.More news: Texas Senate revives full bathroom bill with late-night move
"LeBron goes out with four fouls and I know everybody was like, 'Oh, my God, '" Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said.
"No message", Lue said.
A performance like this was necessary for the Cavs in this game, as the Celtics thoroughly outplayed the Cavs in the first half, and when LeBron picked up his fourth foul midway through the second quarter, the Cavs' prospects of a potential comeback were getting slimmer and slimmer.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens was disappointed with his team's defense on Irving, who was able to spread the floor while surrounded by shooters. Thomas, of course, is out for the playoffs after aggravating a hip injury he originally suffered during the regular season, but his recovery timeline is still not known due to questions about just how he'll be recovering. Following the injury, his aforementioned aggressiveness, dribbling creativity and a unique ability to finish in traffic delivered the Cavaliers seven more points before he fittingly capped off his epic third quarter by drilling a buzzer-beating 3. He shot 1-of-9 from the field and 1-of-5 from beyond the arc. They're 5-4 in the postseason so far.
Led by Kyrie's career night, the Big Three did nearly all the heavy lifting on Tuesday night - combining for 93 points, the most Cleveland's power troika has ever tallied in a playoff game. J.R. Smith and his wife, Jewel, brought their daughter home after more than five months in the hospital following her premature birth. "We Walked In Together We Walked Out Together!" As a result, Boston not only won Game 3 (thanks in large part to an unsustainable scoring burst from Smart), but also built a 10-point halftime lead in Game 4.