Irving's 42 carry Cavs to win, 3-1 lead over Celtics


Just as he did in Game 3.

Everyone will have one eye on Irving's left ankle. The pain couldn't stop him.

Irving scored a playoff career-high 42 points as the Cavaliers came from behind to beat the Celtics, 112-99, at Quicken Loans Arena.

"I feel some adversity is all part of the postseason", James said. "He was born for these moments".

If Games 3 and 4 are any indication, it won't be easy.

Yet, Lue said that the Celtics' unpredictability - born out of necessity, with Thomas' shutting down his season at halftime of Game 2 because of a hip injury - has made things hard after the coach had to scrap his defensive orders all catered toward limiting Thomas.

The Cavs, meanwhile, wouldn't be on the cusp of the Finals without Irving. "We only had two fast-break points, so they neutralized what we wanted to do".

The Cleveland Cavaliers might be one win away from facing the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals for the third straight season, but Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said his team's current opponent in the Celtics is enough of a handful.

The Cavs overcame deficits as large as 16 points in the second quarter and 10 points at halftime to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. "We needed everything tonight".

The return of James to open the third quarter and a scoring flurry by Irving were the keys as the Cavs clawed their way back into the game. I'd argue that shot he hit at some point during the first 24 minutes of the game was the biggest he's hit all year because it set the tone early.

"Those two guys were incredible", Stevens said. "I'm not sure there are good choices". And Brad's got them moving and cutting and playing with pace, and everybody is a threat. "The ones we gotta look at are the ones he got at the rim".

Avery Bradley topped the Celtics with 19 points.

Irving did not show any noticeable limp following the game as he walked down the hallway, stopping to hug and kiss friends and family following his performance.

"I don't know", Lue said.

"My adrenaline is still going", he said. "That's all I've got to say about my performance".

They've given themselves a chance to erase the sting of their 44-point loss in Game 2.

"We knew we didn't play our basketball in the first half, but we had to make a conscious decision on how bad did we want it", Irving said. "We had to do what we had to do".

The Celtics made it 49-33 on 3-pointers by Jaylen Brown and Bradley. Thomas initially injured his hip in March and played the final two months of the regular season before aggravating it during the playoffs.

The Celtics started Kelly Olynyk at center in place of Johnson on Tuesday. They're 5-4 in the postseason so far. Cleveland will have to travel on the road to Boston for Game 5. "We Walked In Together We Walked Out Together!" "That's just how the game be played".