On Sunday the Boston Celtics shocked the sports world and stole Game 3 away from Cleveland on the road to make it a series at 2-1.
Last night was a similar feeling for Celtics fans, minus seeing their team come all the way back from 21 points down in the 3rd quarter. Instead Boston took the play to Cleveland and got the lead as high as 16 mid-way through the second quarter. They also got LeBron in early foul trouble as he took a seat with about four minutes to go until halftime with 4 fouls.
However after erasing a 10 point deficit at the half, a Kyrie Irving led Cavaliers team came out laser focused outscoring Boston by 17 points in the third quarter. Irving who himself was a “mission impossible” guard for the Celtics defense, scored 21 of his 42 points in the 3rd. That remarkable display for Kyrie tied a postseason franchise record set by LeBron James in (2010).
After a mediocre first half with just 10 points and 4 fouls, LeBron started to show signs of his usual self by driving to the hoop and stopped settling for jump shots. James ended his night going 15-of-27, good for 34 points. Despite LeBron getting the majority of those points in the fourth, it was still far from “A+” performance.
Another highlight from the night was Kevin Love. He recorded a double-double, with 17 points and 17 rebounds (which is a playoff high on the glass). With that double-double, that marks 4 straight for Love, who is playing his best basketball since joining the Cavs.
Despite another off night by LeBron, as a team Cleveland shot an efficient 59.5 percent from the field and 45.5 percent from beyond the arc. Bringing them within a game of going back to the finals for the second straight year, taken a commanding 3-1 series lead back to Boston.
The Celtics however after coming out strong in the first half, slowed down in the second half. All season long the C’s have lived and died by the three. On Sunday they sunk 18 three’s, but yesterday they were a modest 10-of-31 from beyond the arc. One Celtic player that was an example of a drastic difference in performance from game 3 to 4 was Marcus Smart. He led the team with 27 pts in Game 3, and followed that up with just 8 in Game 4.
For the Boston Celtics to stave off elimination on their home floor tomorrow in Game 5, they’ll need everyone to show up, play a complete 4 quarters, and they will need Marcus Smart to be a star once more on both ends of the court.