No blame for LeBron after Celtics no-show, says Cavaliers coach Lue

27 May, 2017, 00:06 | Author: Felix Jensen

LeBron James, pictured defending Marcus Smart at Quicken Loans Arena on May 21, 2017 in Cleveland, leads the Cleveland Cavaliers as heavy favorites over the Boston Celtics in Game 4.

Cleveland had appeared to be cruising towards a 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals after romping to victory in the opening two games of the best-of-seven series. Boston failed twice to beat the Cavaliers as they hosted them in TD Garden for the first two games of the series, but they did defeat Cleveland in their territory yesterday. The Cavs set an National Basketball Association record by winning their 13th consecutive series closeout opportunity. After all, James deferred to teammates early.

"He's been the driving force, this entire playoff run, and all of us have just helped us along the way", Irving said. "Now we can start focusing on Golden State to get ready".

"I didn't have it tonight", James said.

Irving re-emerged after halftime for 21 points in the third quarter.

"I don't think I've ever had four fouls in a game before in the first, so my rhythm is kind of broken", James said.

The Cavs remain massive favorites to win the Eastern Conference Finals, with a staggering -10000 money line. In Game 3, James didn't exploit the Celtics like he did in Game 2. Meanwhile, the Celtics' leading scorer after the injured Thomas, Avery Bradley, is averaging just 16.4 points this postseason.

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Thomas was a second-team All-NBA player despite his 5-foot-9 stature - and he may actually be smaller than that - and his ability to take over games in the fourth quarter was the primary reason Boston finished the regular season as the No. 1 seed in the East.

Final score: Cavaliers 112, Celtics 99. "They just stayed resilient all year, got to the playoffs, and we really stepped our game up", he said. He got up, walked the pain off, and drove down the lane for a layup.

"The key for us was to chip away", said Bradley, who made eight three-pointers for the game. They got some second-chance points.

James did not address the media Monday, hours after one of the worst postseason games of his career, an 11-point, six-turnover, head-scratching atrocity in a 111-108 loss to the Boston Celtics that - for the time being - has made the Eastern Conference finals interesting. Improved to 36-5 against Eastern Conference opponents in the playoffs since 2015.

Smart scored a career-high 27 points and Bradley added 20.

The Cavaliers are still 14-0 in franchise history after taking a 2-0 lead in a series, but they'll have to contend with a desperate Celtics squad that smells a little bit of blood after being left for dead following last Friday's beatdown in Beantown. Held a pregame moment of silence for the victims of the Manchester bombing.

And as WWE star Steve Austin used to say before the big event in another sport much-beloved by conspiracy theorists: "And That's the Bottom Line Cuz' Stone Cold Said So!" Now that Isaiah Thomas is out for the rest of the playoffs, the Celtics will continue to move the ball and find the open man. They managed just nine points in Game 3 and so far, Iman Shumpert's five points is all they've been able to muster. He suffered a season-ending hip injury.

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