Saturday, 19 January, 2019

James surpasses Jordan as all-time playoff scoring leader

Frederick Owens | 29 May, 2017, 09:24

LeBron was humble about his accomplishment, crediting Jordan for driving him to play the game of basketball as well as shaping his own game.

(Love was out due to a shoulder injury he suffered after getting tangled up with Kelly Olynyk in Game 4 of the first round.) The Warriors would go on to defeat the Cavs in six games, securing the franchise's fourth championship.

If the Cavaliers advance, James would be making a seventh consecutive trip to the NBA Finals.

The pain couldn't stop him.

With James saddled with four first-half fouls for the first time in his career and the Cavaliers staring a second straight shocking home loss to the Celtics in the face, Irving took over with 21 of his playoff career-high 42 points in an incredible third-quarter display to lead the Cavaliers to a 112-99 win in Game 4 at Quicken Loans Arena.

In the postgame trophy presentation backstage, James spent most of it lingering in the background as his teammates celebrated. "I'm just happy that I'm able to play for him".

THE Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers will meet in the NBA Finals for the third straight season.

Horford, who averaged a lackluster 12.4 points and 4.2 rebounds in the series, figures to definitely be in the long-term plans.

Irving's final 3 of the quarter was just mean. In fact, it's probably larger than anyone thought it was going into the lopsided series that saw LeBron James and Kyrie Irving dominate as though they were superheroes against the mere mortals wearing Celtics' uniforms. (Though maybe it's worth it: as of May 26, the Cavs have sold out 150 straight home games.) Their top four might not be as impressive as Golden State's, but Cleveland runs deep; swingman Kyle Korver would start on most teams in the league, but on the Cavs, he's the eighth man (that's not exactly a coveted role). "I think you look at the (Celtics), they have a young Jaylen Brown, they have a young core, they have the No. 1 pick, they have opportunities to make trades. We needed everything tonight".

Irving was moving around and putting up shots during the Cavs' morning shootaround. He stayed on the floor for a few moments before sitting up and re-tying his sneaker. But Ty Lue chose to keep him in the game.

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"It was one of those games we had to fight through and we had to earn it", he said.

As the Celtics have grown and improved, so has coach Brad Stevens.

"No, that time will come", said Thomas. "I'm not sure there are good choices".

This kind of offensive strategy has to be tough to defend because you never really know which guy is going to bring it on any given night. And just like the guys on this team, he's open, and I feel like he's just a special coach because he just cares about us.

After the Warriors beat the Cavs for their first title in 40 years in 2015, Cleveland got revenge last season with a comeback from 3-1 down to give the city its first major championship since 1964.

Avery Bradley scored 19 and Jae Crowder 18 for Boston.

Irving did not show any noticeable limp following the game as he walked down the hallway, stopping to hug and kiss friends and family following his performance.

"My adrenaline is still going", he said. The Celtics used their third different starting lineup in four games against Cleveland. It's James' unselfish vision of the importance of the team game that remains his most admirable strength.

"It was taken, they took it", Green said.


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