LeBron had four fouls in the first half of Game 4 against Boston. The Celtics shocked everyone by grabbing a 10-point lead after two quarters in Cleveland.
And then Kyrie Irving took over. It’ll go down as one of the great performances in Eastern Conference Finals history: 42 points on just 22 shots, including 19 points in a five minute span in the 3rd quarter when the Cavs wrested the lead away from the Celtics and pulled away for a 112-99 win.
This is how Kyrie closed the game:
LeBron finished with 34 points (on 27 shots), but many came after Kyrie had gotten the Cavs the lead. He closed strong, but settled for long jumpers early. If you’re looking for negative takeaways from this from Cleveland’s point of view:
* LeBron shot 1-for-6 on 3-pointers, and is 1-for-10 in the last two games from deep. He’s now 6-for-22 on 3-pointers (27 percent), a far cry from the 48 percent and 45 percent he shot against Toronto and Indiana, respectively. You knew a regression was coming.
* When LeBron dominates a game with his efficient passing and scoring, the Cavs can pull away easily. But even as good as Kyrie Irving was, it was still just a 6-point game with 4:20 left. After a 57-point 1st half from Boston, the Celtics ran out of gas in the 2nd, scoring just 42 points … but even without Isaiah Thomas, still nearly pulled off the upset.
* Cleveland’s bench scored just seven points. It had nine points in the Game 3 loss. Richard Jefferson and Kyle Korver are 36. Deron Williams is 32 and after two good series, has struggled (five turnovers, three baskets). The Cavs just played game 94 this season.