How Kyrie Irving dominated Game 4


James spoke Thursday during the morning shootaround before the Cavaliers play the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Boston powered into a 29-19 first quarter lead and maintained their 10-point cushion through to half-time, leading 57-47 at the break. It took a 40 point third quarter (23 from Kyrie Irving) on 76.2% shooting for the Cavs to win. In 2016, Irving averaged almost five more points and one more steal than Curry.

"A game like that just happens", Lue said. "We want to go take back a championship, that's just the nature of a competitor and I think that's the mindset of everyone in this organization to go take back what they took from us".

But it backfired in a big way, sending James to the bench for the final 6:46 of the first half with the Celtics having already built a double-digit lead, carrying over their strong play from Game 3's second half to seize control.

LeBron James bounced back from a hard Game 3 in which he scored just 11 points - the fourth-lowest Playoff total of his career - to tally 34 points, going 15-for-27 from the floor to go with six assists, five boards, a steal and a blocked shot. In fact, it's probably larger than anyone thought it was going into the lopsided series that saw LeBron James and Kyrie Irving dominate as though they were superheroes against the mere mortals wearing Celtics' uniforms.

The third quarter did more than give the Cavs an 87-80 lead. Thomas initially injured his hip in March and played the final two months of the regular season before aggravating it during the playoffs.

"I've been very blessed the last few years to be a part of this league and play on the big stage", said Cleveland star LeBron James, who has now reached the Finals for the eighth time - including each of the last seven years.

"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".

"It made me look back to see how fast everything can be taken away from me", Thomas said.

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Love meanwhile revealed that the Cavaliers had not panicked at half-time when they trailed by 10.

One of the most important players was Kevin Love. "It's just an effort all around". "But we're going to enjoy this for a couple more days before we have to lock in on that juggernaut out west".

"I don't have to score to make an impact on a game and that was my mindset when I started playing, if I'm not scoring how can I still make an impact on the game?"

Avery Bradley scored 19 and Jae Crowder 18 for Boston.

The Celtics did their best to keep up, but the consistent outside shooting, bench scoring and defense they relied on to stun Cleveland in Game 3 wasn't there Thursday night.

It's one-all at the moment between these two super teams, with the Warriors claiming the 2015 title, 4-2, before the Cavaliers fought back from 3-1 down to turn the tables on Golden State last season.

"We need to hit adversity in order to grow", Irving said.

The Cavaliers outscored the Celtics 65-42 in the second half, thanks to Irving's playoff career high in points. That's the answer. Kyrie Irving was incredible. When his 3-pointer splashed with a half-second left in the quarter, the Cavs led 87-80. They tried to involve every player, which made for a lot of the ball movement Lue referenced.