Always Free To Place a Hit On Someone
Irving's previous career playoff high was 41 points, in Game 5 of the NBA Finals last season against the Golden State Warriors. That had been the most points a James teammate had scored in the postseason. CLEVELAND -- Kyrie Irving broke his own record for points in a playoff game by a LeBron James teammate Tuesday, scoring a career-playoff-high 42 in the Cleveland Cavaliers' Andrew Adams Youth Jersey 112-99 Game 4 victory over the Boston Celtics. The performance helped the Cavs overcome a 16-point deficit and grab a 3-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference finals. They will try to make it to the NBA Finals for a third consecutive season in Game 5 in Boston on Thursday. In all, Irving made 10 baskets in the paint, tying his career high. He was 7-of-7 in the paint in the third quarter alone, many of the hoops coming on his trademark drives and using English and the backboard to get the ball into the hoop. "I was saying to myself, 'They cannot tie up this series, they cannot,'" Irving said. "We had to be able to face adversity, look it in the face, and say, 'You're not going to win today.'" "I've twisted my ankle so many times on plays like that," Irving said. "You have two choices, you can sit there and wallow in the sorrow of you twisting your ankle or capture the moment." In this one, Irving scored 36 of his points following James' fourth foul with just less than seven minutes remaining in the first half, which forced James to the bench. Irving peaked in the third quarter, scoring 21 points on 9-of-10 shooting on a series of unrelenting drives to the basket through the Celtics' defense. Over the last 6 minutes, 46 seconds of the second quarter, Irving put in 12 points to help the Cavs play the Celtics even with James on the bench. Irving played through a left ankle http://www.nygiantsofficialstore.com/carl-banks-jersey-for-sale-c-5... injury; he rolled it on Celtics guard Terry Rozier's foot in the third quarter following a bucket in transition. He stayed down and grabbed his lower leg in pain. But he tightened his shoes and was able to stay in the game. Kyrie Irving scored at will against the Boston Celtics, saving the Cavaliers from LeBron James' foul trouble and ultimately putting a stamp on Game 4. After being held scoreless in the fourth quarter of Game 3, James scored 15 of his 34 points in the fourth to close out Game 4. James, Irving and Kevin Love combined for 93 points, the most points the Cavs' three All-Stars have combined to score in a playoff game in their three seasons together. Love also set a career playoff mark by grabbing 17 rebounds. For much of the first half of Tuesday's Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, it might have been OK to ponder that suggestion. After all, the Thomas-less Celtics had rallied from 21 points down for an improbable Game 3 victory two nights earlier and Boston might have played its best basketball of the series over the first 18 minutes of Game 4. CLEVELAND -- Well, that ought to put an end to the notion that the Boston Celtics are a better team without All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas. The Celtics were spectacular at the start of Tuesday's game. Boston zipped the ball around the court while generating 17 assists on 21 first-half makes. Boston limited both its turnovers and Cleveland's second-chance opportunities. Maybe most startling of all, the Celtics got LeBron James into early foul trouble. In that moment, with a double-digit lead and James going to the bench with more than six minutes to play in the second quarter, Celtics fans could daydream about the series coming back to Boston tied 2-2. A win would have restored home-court advantage for the Celtics, while the Cavaliers might have been questioning themselves. Al Horford helped keep the Celtics competitive on Tuesday night, finishing with 16 points, on 7-for-11 shooting, and a game-high seven assists. David Liam Kyle/NBAE via http://www.authenticmetshop.com/authentic-8-gary-carter-jersey.html Getty Images So how, exactly, did the Cavaliers burst that bubble? "Kyrie Irving and LeBron James would be the two answers," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. Irving and James paired up for 48 second-half points, topping the scoring output of Boston's entire roster by six in that span. The Celtics reverted to bad habits -- turnovers, rushed shots, haphazard rebounding -- and watched Irving and his game-high 42 points rally Cleveland to a 112-99 triumph at Quicken Loans Arena. The Cavaliers own a 3-1 advantage in the best-of-seven series and can lock in a much-hyped NBA Finals rubber match with the Golden State Warriors with a win Thursday night. Boston's second-half struggles juxtaposed to the dominance of Irving and James essentially spoiled the hopes of any sports yakker who was preparing to sound off about Thomas. Game 3 reminded us that Boston can be competitive, but its lack of elite talent is simply more pronounced against a team like the Cavaliers. The Celtics needed someone they could lean on in the fourth quarter. Al Horford did his best for a stretch, and his back-to-back buckets had the Celtics within six with under six minutes to play. But there would be no clutch baskets, no watch taps, no proclamations that fans inside The Q knew what time it was. The Celtics had missed their initial chance to extend their 10-point lead when James picked up his fourth foul with 6 minutes, 46 seconds to play in the second quarter. It http://www.officialnikejetshop.com/nick-mangold-jersey-for-sale-c-2... should have been a chance for the Celtics to really pad their lead before James could return at the start of the third quarter. Instead, it was the start of Irving's takeover. He scored Cleveland's next 10 points and Boston needed a couple of layups in the final minute of the first half just to restore the 10-point advantage it had when James checked out. Asked if he felt his team missed an opportunity to stretch its lead with James off the court, Stevens was quick to point out the benefits of a talent-gushing roster. "They still have two All-Stars out on the court," said Stevens, referencing Irving and Kevin Love. "With the best player in the world [off the court, it's] unreal, but they're still a pretty darned good team when those guys are out there." The Celtics smothered Irving with praise and suggested there are simply nights when the NBA's best players are capable of taking over on a big stage. But you can't help but wonder if things might have been different if the Celtics had Thomas to steady the offense when it endured brief scoring lulls. Remember that, during the regular season, the Celtics owned an offensive rating of 113.8 with Thomas on the court, or a half-point better than the Warriors' much-ballyhooed offense. Yes, Thomas has defensive deficiencies because of his 5-foot-9 stature, but the Celtics so very much need him to consistently generate points. Even James -- who overcame foul trouble and a missed breakaway dunk to finish with 34 points on 15-of-27 shooting -- admitted the Celtics just are not the same without Thomas' presence. "They're a different team when I.T. is -- I won't say a different team, they run different things just because of I.T. being a huge piece of the puzzle for them, offensively," James said. Without Thomas, you can make the case that the Cavaliers have the three best players remaining in this series (though Horford could make a case for one of those spots), including James, whom Stevens keeps referring to as "the best player in the world." "He's a special talent," James Ryan Clady Youth Jersey said about Irving. "He rose to the occasion and he put the team on his back. We definitely needed that effort from him." The Cavs shot 59.5 percent for the game, tying their franchise record for best postseason shooting performance. After the Celtics took their 16-point lead with James on the bench in the second quarter, James and Irving combined to outscore the Celtics 60-50 the rest of the way.