By John ‘The Dude’ Hardiman, 985TheSportsHub.com
LeBron James’ game-high 44 points helped the Cleveland Cavaliers tie up the Eastern Conference Finals at two-games a piece, following their 111-102 win over the Boston Celtics on Monday night.
James and company came into Game 4 looking to tie up the East Finals best-of-seven series, as they would be heading back to Boston on Wednesday night for Game 5.
Things were all tied up at 6-6 just three minutes in, but the Cavaliers started to pull away halfway through the quarter.
Cleveland would eventually take a 19-10 lead with 4:53 left in the first following a 10-0 run.
The Cavaliers finished off the opening quarter on a 25-8 run, en route to a 34-18 lead.
Boston trailed by as much as 19 in the second before cutting Cleveland’s lead to nine.
James and Cavs built up another big lead following another run. This time it was an 11-2 spot, leading to a 66-48 lead with 1:00 to play in the half.
After out-scoring the Cavs by one in the second, the Celtics trailed 68-53 heading into the half.
Kyle Korver and the Cavs shot the lights out of the Quicken Loans Arena, shooting an impressive 63.2 percent from the field, while the Celtics shot 37 percent in the first half.
Both teams accounted for 24 combined fouls at the half and 49 by the end of the game. The Celtics accounted for 26 of them, with Marcus Morris, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart all finishing with five. Plus Kevin Love and Kyle Korver each had five as well.
And by the end of the game, both teams combined for 59 free throws, with the Celtics going 23-for-30 from the line and the Cavs knocking down 21-of-29.
Al Horford and the Celtics came out to start the second half with a 6-0 run to cut the deficit to nine again just three minutes in.
Even with Love earning his fifth foul just 7:40 into third, the Cavs kept pace through the close of the quarter, despite being out-scored again by the Celtics.
Cleveland would pull ahead by 13 points as they headed into the fourth at, 89-76.
Boston opened up the quarter hot once again as they went on an 8-0 run to cut the Cavs’ lead to seven at, 96-89, which would be the closest they’d get in the fourth, with just 6:55 to play to in the game.
After another quarter in which the Celtics out-scored the Cavs, they just couldn’t overcome their first quarter woes and the Cavs’ high shooting percentage, as they’d fall for the second straight game, 111-102.
The Celtics are now 1-6 on the road so far though the NBA Playoffs. And it’s a good thing they’re returning home for Game 5, where they’re 9-0 during the playoffs.
111-102, Final in Game 4.— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) May 22, 2018
Celtics have still not won a road game in regulation since March 28th.
Headed home for Game 5... pic.twitter.com/8gLNqiDEt6
All five Celtics starters scored in double-digits, with Brown leading the way with 25 points (10-23), six rebounds and two assists.
Terry Rozier III finished with a 16-point, 11-assist double-double. And Horford finished with 15 points and seven boards.
Smart had eight points (2-8 FG), five rebound, five assists, two steals and a block off the bench for the C’s.
James went off for a game-high 44 points (17-28 FG), five rebounds and three assists.
Tristian Thompson put up a 13-point, 12-rebound double-double, while Love was sniffing one himself with nine points and 11 boards.
Thompson, Love and the rest of the Cavs out-rebounded the Celtics by 10, and they took advantage of points in the paint as they out-scored the C’s by 12 points in that area. And neither team shot better than 34 percent from beyond the arc.
With the lopsided Game 3 loss, plus tonight’s, the Cavaliers will come back to Boston having tied the series up at 2-2.
The East Finals will continue on Wednesday night, with Game 5 tip-off set for 8:30 p.m. in Boston.
UP NEXT: The #2 Boston Celtics (55-27/2-2) will head back to Boston to take on the #4 Cavaliers (50-32/2-2) on Wednesday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Catch the call of the game with Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell, live on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Pre-game coverage begins at 8:00 p.m., with tip-off set for 8:30 p.m.
John Hardiman is a Digital Producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for John? Hit him up on Twitter @HardiDude or e-mail him at email@example.com.
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