LeBron, Cavs try to shake 'weird' loss in Game 3 to Celtics

LeBron James knew a loss would come sooner or later in the playoffs for the Cavaliers.

With his esteemed teammate in foul trouble during the first half, Irving had to step up in game four and James said it came as no surprise.

"He saw Bron went out and he wanted to put the team on his shoulders", Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said.

Then Kyrie Irving became unstoppable, James found his groove, and the Cavs left Quicken Loans Arena with a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals. "We just kept fighting".

"It wasn't tough to watch", he said as the Cavaliers prepared for Tuesday night's Game 4.

The Celtics pulled the ultimate shocker over reigning National Basketball Association champions the Cavs when they rallied in game three for a 111-108 victory in the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday.

Kevin Love added 17 points and a game-high 17 rebounds for the Cavs, now 11-1 in this postseason.

"I would rather have adversity and win", Lue said with a laugh.

James's performance was the major talking point after Sunday's defeat, with the Cavs star finishing with just 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting.

"Those two guys were incredible", Stevens said. "We've got to be a lot better for sure". The matchup that most all had predicted before the season's first shot is now just a Cleveland win away. But that's what great teams do. "Cleveland deserves a lot of credit".

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Sunday night, the Boston Celtics pulled off a historic NBA Playoffs upset. It revved the sellout crowd of 20,562. "They can not. We can not go to Boston 2-2 and then it becomes nearly an even series".

The Celtics stretched the lead to 16 points, 49-33 in the next minute and a half. He's also doing his best (with the expected mixed results) at guarding LeBron James using his own unique blend of athleticism and anticipation.

Following a timeout, the Celtics worked the ball to Bradley, who found himself open and then calmly knocked down a shot that goes straight into Celtics lore.

More alarmingly, James was unable to conjure one of his trademark rallies in the 4th quarter as the Celtics began to sense a vital win.

Boston's comeback was fueled by Thomas' replacement, Marcus Smart, who made 7 of 10 3-pointers and scored 27 points. "They had their way offensively in the first half".

James closed it with 15 points in the fourth, including a 3-pointer with 3:52 remaining for a 106-97 lead.

It was only the second time in this postseason the Cavs trailed at halftime.

"LeBron was not engaged tonight", TNT analyst Charles Barkley said after the game.

In the game-changing second half, Boston had 12 rebounds. He rolled it late in the third quarter of Game 4 when he stepped on Terry Rozier's foot. If that happens, LeBron will have a shot to add at least one more trophy to his collection and reach a total that only three other players have achieved. It was their first lead since early in the opening quarter.

Cleveland entered the final stanza after a 40-point third quarter.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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