Sometimes, someone gets hot. In Game 3 of the East finals, Marcus Smart, a career 29.1% three-point shooter, hit a Ray Allen-esque seven threes in a game the Celtics won by one possession, a flukey performance that still uncaged some silly takes and over explanations.
In Game 4 on Tuesday, the better team won, and this time, it was Kyrie Irving catching fire en route to a 112–99 Cavaliers win.
Let’s not mince words—Irving was the difference for Cleveland on Tuesday, exploding in the third quarter before finishing with a playoff career-high 42 points.
Irving was playing at his very best in the third, gracefully dancing into the paint before artfully spinning the ball off the glass on balletic lay-ins, earning trips to the foul line, and knocking home back-breaking threes.
The heroics from Uncle Drew were needed, especially as LeBron James long struggled to find his rhythm while playing much of the game in foul trouble.
The Cavs again looked lethargic at times against an Isaiah Thomas-less Celtics team, and Boston led by 10 at halftime.
Wherever they’ve been keeping their switch, the Cavs flipped it again in the second half, shooting over 70% from the field while scoring 65 points in the final 24 minutes.
In addition to Irving, James eventually found his groove and finished with 34 points, and Kevin Love added 17 points and a playoff career-high 17 rebounds.
By Rohan Nadkarni [Sports Illustrated]
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