Nba playoffs the cavaliers were left for dead. now, it feels like their series to lose. – fringopost electricity worksheets high school


But it’s hard to imagine anyone thinking having to win a road game is going to stop James after everything he’s done in his career. And after putting up 44 points, five rebounds and three assists in Game 4, he appears primed and ready to go back to Boston – a city in which he’s had so much playoff history already – and muster another brilliant performance.

“I’ve put a lot of work in day in and day out with my body, working on my game every day, trying to put myself in the best condition I can be in the postseason,” said James, who passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most playoff field goals in NBA history during the game.

“It’s a hostile environment,” James added of Boston. We understand that. There’s no love in there if you don’t have on green. If you don’t bleed green, there’s no love for you. They have not lost a postseason game on their home court, so they’re going to be extremely confident.

Cleveland essentially won the game in the first quarter, going up 34-18 thanks to a 13-3 run to end it that blew things open for good. While Boston repeatedly would cut the lead to seven or eight in the second half, that initial cushion was enough for the Cavaliers to hold on and even the series.

James was brilliant, but he wasn’t alone. Tristan Thompson had 13 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, one steal and two blocks. George Hill had 13 points, four rebounds, three assists, two steals, and Kyle Korver had 14 points. While Kevin Love had just nine points and six turnovers, he had 11 rebounds, three assists and got a couple of massive put-back buckets in the second half to stunt Boston runs.

Jaylen Brown led Boston with 25 points, and the Celtics had all five starters in double figures, but it never felt – despite the many runs Boston made – that the Celtics were going to push their way back into this one. Every time they had a chance, the Cavaliers managed to make a mini-run themselves to push the lead back to double digits and keep themselves at a safe distance.

Now the series will shift back to Boston, where James saw his first stint in Cleveland end in 2010 in one of his lowest moments – and then where he had arguably his greatest moment in beating the Celtics in Game 6 of this same series in 2012 on his way to winning his first championship with the Miami Heat.

After those first two games, it felt like, if Boston could win either of these games in Cleveland, the series would assuredly end in five games, and that the Cavaliers would break. Cleveland has been through so much this season, and the last four seasons, that this team constantly feels on the verge of collapse.

Missing a golden opportunity to close their deficit here in the fourth, Boston has missed all four shots it has attempted – three-pointers from Al Horford, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier, plus a Brown shot in the paint. The only point they have gotten was from Aron Baynes making one of two free throws.

That allowed Boston to get within seven – the closest it has been in the second half. But a Kevin Love putback and a James fast break layup forced Brad Stevens to call timeout with 6:01 remaining after Cleveland had pushed the lead back to 11.

Now, here comes James, checking back in with 8:28 remaining after an Al Horford dunk in the post made it 96-88 in favor of Cleveland. Boston has managed to hang around all game, despite being thoroughly outplayed. Now the Celtics will have a chance to steal this game in Cleveland – which will all but end the series.

Now, with the game heading into the fourth quarter, the Cavaliers hold an 89-76 lead. LeBron James has 35 points for Cleveland, but the Cavaliers have started to come back to earth offensively (as expected) – which, coupled with the turnovers, kept allowing Boston to creep back into the game.

Cleveland is up 68-53 at halftime of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals, as LeBron James leads the way – as usual – with 22 points, three rebounds and four assists for Cleveland. Tristan Thompson has added 10 points and eight rebounds for the Cavaliers, while Kyle Korver has 14 points on 4-for-4 shooting.

As a team, the Cavaliers are shooting 63.2 percent overall and 54.5 percent from three-point range. They have outscored Boston 26-12 in points in the paint and 6-0 in fast break points. Only turnovers have prevented this from being a complete rout.

Once again, Boston can’t score on the road, with Terry Rozier being the only player in double figures with 10 points, while Boston is shooting 37 percent overall – including just 10 for 29 inside the three-point arc. Boston is actually doing well from three, going 7 for 17. But that’s about the only bright spot Celtics fans can point to right now.

That has allowed Boston to begin to slowly work itself back into a game it has no business being in after a horrid first half offensively. But by not giving the ball away – and by Cleveland committing eight turnovers that have turned into 10 Boston points – the Celtics have turned a game that was hovering near a 20-point Cleveland lead early in the second to one that’s dropped down to 13 here late in the quarter.

The road demons that have haunted Boston throughout these playoffs have come back to get them again, as the Celtics are 7 for 26 from the floor in the first quarter, including both Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum missing dunks, while Boston also went 1 for 7 from three-point range.

Add in three fouls for Marcus Morris, the primary defender for LeBron James, and there was just about nothing that went right for Boston in the first quarter. If it wasn’t for the Cavaliers committing four turnovers (compared to one for Boston), this game could be even more out of hand.

Baker Mayfield, the quarterback the Cleveland Browns took first overall in last month’s NFL draft, is in attendance at Monday night’s game. I have to imagine he’s sitting there wondering how to convince James to come join him on the football field this fall after seeing a play like this.

In the games Cleveland has played well in during these playoffs – Game 7 against the Indiana Pacers, the four-game sweep of the Toronto Raptors, Game 3 in Cleveland against Boston – Hill has been a huge factor. When he’s playing well, he is arguably the only effective two-way player on the roster besides James, giving Cleveland a desperately needed versatile and effective player to pair with him. It also means Jordan Clarkson never has to have the ball in his hands – which is good, given Clarkson would never let anyone else have the ball in their hands.

Rozier, meanwhile, has been a spark plug for Boston throughout the playoffs. With Kyrie Irving out, Rozier is one of the few players who can explode for 25 or 30 points on the Celtics, and he’s done a nice job limiting his turnovers in the games in which he’s played well. And, normally, those have been the games Boston has managed to win. In Boston’s 10 playoff victories, Rozier is averaging 19.8 points on 46.3 percent shooting overall and 43.2 percent from three. In Boston’s five playoff losses, Rozier is averaging 11.8 points on 32.2 percent shooting overall and 24.3 percent from three.