Gritty Celtics stun Cavaliers to reduce series deficit

He also had seven assists, five rebounds and two steals. The Warriors await a possible third straight championship matchup with Cleveland, which leads Boston 2-1 in the East finals. But the Celtics continued to move the ball and themselves one (or more) steps ahead of Cleveland's sloppy defense, keeping the Cavs at bay and heading into halftime with a 57-47 lead.

The defending National Basketball Association champions, who shot 71 percent in the second half to open a 3-1 lead in the series, can wrap up their third straight conference title - and a "three-match" against the Warriors - with a win in Game 5 on Thursday night in Boston. "He was happy. He was excited", Bradley said.

With 10.7 seconds left and the shot clock off, Jonas Jerebko inbounded the ball to Marcus Smart at center court.

When a local radio reporter pressed him, LeBron showed his sensitive side by asking: "It seems like you only ask questions when we lose". It was like, you already knew. In nine of his ten previous Playoffs games this season, the OH native scored at least 30 points. Al Horford also chipped in with 16 points and six rebounds in his first postseason victory against LeBron James while Avery Bradley finished with 20 points. Westbrook averaged 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists becoming the first player since Oscar Robertson in the 1961-62 season to average a triple-double for an entire season. "As the stakes get higher and higher, his game gets higher and higher, but it was nothing surprising for me". LeBron had the fan ejected by security and as he was leaving LeBron asked the fan what he had accomplished.

With four shooters on the floor, Smart has the room he needs to attack his defender 1-on-1, which is why the Cavaliers have LeBron James guarding him.

Out of the break, James made a layup that Love set up with a slick pass in the lane, and after a goaltending call on Cleveland center Tristan Thompson, Irving followed with a pair of free throws on the Cavaliers' next possession.

"The key for us was to chip away", said Bradley of the Celtics, who made 18 three-pointers for the game.

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Even though the loss was frustrating, it's not all doom and gloom according to James. The basket turned into the size of a pin after that with Cleveland going 2-of-17 on the second-half treys.

"We went through adversity", Cavs guard JR Smith said. If it was going to happen, let it happen now; let us regroup.

The Cavaliers played a marvelous first half. When his 3-pointer splashed with a half-second left in the quarter, the Cavs led 87-80.

Spurs: Ginobili had come off the bench in 55 straight playoff games prior to his start in Game 4. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (5,762), Kobe Bryant (5,640) and Shaquille O'Neal (5,250) are third, fourth and fifth. I'd rather us make the mistakes trying to be a good teammate as opposed to just being selfish and just shooting the shots. I'm not going to criticize him one bit.

Under normal circumstances, I would say that this would be devastating news for the Celtics.

"Only making two threes in the second half, scoring 21 in the third and 21 in the fourth, that's not us offensively", Cavs coach Ty Lue said. "It's going to take a full 48-minute game to do it". “Yeah, I think they would have beaten all those teams, too, ” he said, drawing laughter. He knows that. We know that. "But the loss is behind us, and now we've got to play better tomorrow".

"We knew that while Friday was a 44-point disaster, it was worth one (game)". "We look forward to the challenge". I'm just happy and blessed that when I made a decision to come back that I was able to help him blossom.

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