Then, after spending much of his free time flying cross-country to be with his family, Thomas had a tooth knocked out in Game 1 of the conference semifinals against Washington. "As well as we played tonight, we've got a couple of things we can do better". As he did not play in Game 4, Johnson should be available in Game 5.
Instead Wall offered up a forgetful performance, going 8-23 from the field (35%) and 1-8 (12.5%) from beyond the arc. James didn't speak to reporters on Saturday either, leaving Love to serve as the team's unofficial spokesman as the sports world inched closer to a matchup that seemed destined from the moment last season's Finals ended.
To take that next step, Wall is going to have to get over the hump when it comes to crunch time in the postseason. Love has actually been putting up All-Star numbers all series.
While Irving's scoring ignited the Cavs' comeback, it was made possible by Cleveland's defensive effort over the final 24 minutes.
Cavs small forward James hit a three-pointer from the left wing in the third quarter to pass Jordan's record of 5,987 play-off points, which had stood for 19 years. Thomas has been shut down the rest of the playoffs after aggravating his hip injury and Bradly has played with and through hip pointers at various points of the season. Irving finished with 42 of those points. Not to mention he is also shooting 91 percent (20-22) from the foul line.
For the sneaker fan, the looks throughout the series were eye-catching, but there wasn't much variety.
James' haul in the series-clinching victory took him to 5,995 points, taking him past the previous mark of 5,987 set by basketball great Jordan. (Terry) Rozier is tough, Avery is tough, (Marcus) Smart's tough. Cleveland won the three road games in the series by a combined 90 points, the last two by a total of 77.
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Against Bradley alone, who is All-NBA defender, Irving is 10-14 against him. With that said, it might be in Boston's best interest to take the long approach. The 43 points Cleveland scored in the first quarter set a team postseason record for a quarter. We understand that this is a good team.
James still trails Jordan in one key area: titles.
Irving morphed into a flamethrower once he was the one being relied on to put points on the board.
Celtics ball movement is there, and the scoring will come. To the shock of most who have been following the playoffs, Game 3 became much more than a cliché.
Miami's teams anchored by James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were 48-16 against the East in the postseason during its four-year run to the Finals with just two sweeps, both in the first round; Milwaukee in 2013 and Charlotte in 2014.
"I leave with a little bit of a bad taste in my mouth not playing as well here, and man you want to play well here", said an emotional Celtics coach Brad Stevens, who earned his first two playoff series wins this year.
"He showed why he's one of the best point guards in the league, and he commanded us to be better, especially in the second half".