Game four of the Eastern Conference Finals started to look like it would be a dead-even series at the game’s end, but Kyrie Irving was having none of it.
The first quarter would be the lowest scoring quarter for the Cavs so far this post-season (19). Watching the first quarter and extended into the second quarter, it didn’t look like the Cavs wanted to respond to the game-winner they took to the face in the previous game.
The second quarter would have no winner, each team scored 28 points, but the Cavs had work to do going into halftime.
“We knew going into halftime that we hadn’t played our best basketball, so it was a conscious choice that we had to make on our end: How bad did we want it? “
And a choice was ever so present when the third quarter started. Irving erupted for 21 points and the Cavs outscored the Celtics 40-23 in the quarter.
He would end the third quarter with an overall summary of how that quarter went for him, scorching hot.
Kyrie Irving is a baaaaaad maaaaan! pic.twitter.com/mtRViGF0MD
— PinPoint Sports (@SportsPinPoint) May 24, 2017
The fourth quarter would be no different for the Cavs overall; outscore the Celtics and inch closer to the NBA Finals.
Irving’s most incredible move would come in the dying embers of the game, but the crowd’s energy wasn’t dying anytime soon after this remarkable act of wizardry.
Kyrie Irving with the nasty ball fake! 😷🔥
— NBA SKITS (@NBA_Skits) May 24, 2017
Famous athletes took to Twitter to react to Irving’s remarkable game.
— Mike Miller (@MikeMiller_13) May 24, 2017
Kyrie, the modern day @rod_strickland !
— Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) May 24, 2017
— Tavon Austin (@Tayaustin01) May 24, 2017
Also according to ESPN.com, LeBron James, who finished the game with 34 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds, wasn’t surprised by Irving’s explosion for a career-playoff-high 42 points.
“He’s a special kid…He’s a special talent. As the stakes get higher and higher, his game gets higher and higher, but it was nothing surprising for me.”
Irving stole the show with his 42 points, but James’ play shouldn’t be overlooked either. Coming off a really bad night in which he only scored 11 points, tonight’s game was a statement game, and a statement is exactly what the King made.
Irving discussed how important this game was with ESPN.com and he knew that the Cavs didn’t want to go back to Boston with the series tied at 2-2.
“The importance of a Game 4, especially the way we came out in Game 3, you know, in the back of my mind, I was like, I’m saying to myself, ‘We cannot — they cannot tie up this series…They cannot. We cannot go to Boston 2-2.”
The Cavs would win this game by a final score of 112-99 and inch one game closer to the NBA Finals, where the Golden State Warriors have already punched their ticket.
The Cavs have a little breathing room with the series 3-1 in their favor, but no good team will become lazy with a series lead.
The series will shift to Boston for game five and will take place on Thursday at 7:30 CT on TNT.
For continued coverage of the NBA, follow along on Twitter! @Sports_Rants