BOSTON — LeBron James didn’t dominate Game 4 of the Cavaliers’ first-round playoff series against the Celtics, but he did enough to help Cleveland finish off a sweep with a 101-93 win at TD Garden.
James was two assists shy of a triple-double and made an effort to get teammates involved after struggling with his outside shot. He finished 9-for-23 from the field, 1-for-7 from beyond the arc.
Here’s a closer look at James’ Game 4 performance.
James didn’t play well in the first quarter. He didn’t score his first basket until the 4:20 mark and shot 1 for 4 overall. James did make an effort to get his teammates involved early on, evidenced by his five assists. He passed up three good looks to find an open man.
James didn’t have a great second quarter, either. He shot 3-for-7, missed four of his six free throws and ended the first half with 13 points. He did find other ways to fill the stat sheet with five rebounds, six assists and two steals through 24 minutes.
The third quarter was a struggle for James as well. He scored just four points and battled cramps, per the ABC broadcast. He finished the third quarter with 17 points on 6-for-19 shooting in over 30 minutes of play. Cleveland scored just 13 points as a team in the quarter.
James was more of a facilitator in the fourth quarter. He found Kyrie Irving for a huge 3-point shot with 9:00 remaining that increased the Cavs’ lead to 75-64. James did become more aggressive offensively late in regulation with six points and two rebounds in a span of 3:30. This helped the Cavs pull away after the Celtics trimmed the lead to just eight points in the opening minutes of the quarter.
James finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and three steals.
James put the Cavs up 21 at halftime — their largest lead of the series — with a running one-handed shot after taking contact from Jared Sullinger.
THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN
The Celtics threw multiple defenders at James in the first 16 minutes of the game and the defense was pretty solid. [tweet https://twitter.com/ZackCoxNESN/status/592382889892913152 align=”center”[
James’ struggles continued throughout the second quarter.
[tweet https://twitter.com/ByJayKing/status/592385181941653504 align=”center”]
LeBron made some history, too. [tweet https://twitter.com/WeAreCavsNation/status/592383792137908225 align=”center”]
Late in the third quarter, James blocked an Isaiah Thomas shot at the rim and saved the ball from going out of bounds to a teammate to maintain possession. Most guys in today’s NBA just go for the highlight-reel block where the ball lands in the fifth row. [tweet https://twitter.com/AlecBNathan/status/592403574119858178 align=”center”]
CROWNING THE KING
James was better in other games of the series, but in fairness, he didn’t need to be great Sunday because his supporting cast stepped up. Iman Shumpert, Timofey Mozgov and Irving all had double-digit points and rebounds.
James played well in the fourth quarter when the Cavs were trying to hold off one last Celtics surge. That’s all that matters for Cleveland, which now has at least five days off before starting Round 2.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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