Irving's 42 carries Cavaliers past Celtics

LeBron Calls Out Reporter After Loss:

His teammates and coach are confident he will be when the best-of-seven series against the Boston Celtics, led 2-1 by Cleveland, resumes tonight at 8:30 at Quicken Loans Arena.

Avery Bradley scored 19 and Jae Crowder 18 for Boston. James finished with a mere 11 points on 4-for-13 shooting for a rare night, with many people feeling the superstar player simply "disengaged" from the game. The Cavs gave up 61 points in the second half, and while Kevin Love, 28, went on a tear, scoring 22 points in the first half, most of the Cavalier offense took half-the-night off.

LeBron James continued his disengaged play of Sunday night, settling for threes and missing them.

"At the end of the day you understand that it's just basketball and I put a lot of work into my craft so I've always trusted that", James said.

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"I've twisted my ankle so many times that plays like that, you have two choices: either you can sit there and kind of wallow in the sorrow of you twisting your ankle or capture the moment", Irving said after finishing with 42 points. Defensive liabilities notwithstanding, there are times they simply can't score enough without him. He knows that. We know that.

James returned for the start of the second half, but this was the obvious early storyline of the game considering how important the perennial MVP candidate has been to the Cavaliers since returning to Cleveland.

- Jonas Jerebko scored nine points with five rebounds off the bench. He pulled down 17 rebounds to go along with his 17 points, 2 blocks and a steal. Celtics without their lone All-Star, the injured Isaiah Thomas.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens was disappointed with his team's defense on Irving, who was able to spread the floor while surrounded by shooters. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving had just 6 points each on a combined 4-10 shooting. James scored 15 of his 34 points in the final quarter to help seal the deal. This foul output has pretty much been James' ceiling over the past two postseasons, with ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst noting the Cavs savior only had two playoff games featuring four foul calls against him.

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While the Celtics' lead was still 10 points at halftime, you could see the Cavaliers starting to wake up, led by Kyrie Irving. Despite not having Isaiah Thomas for a second straight game, Boston defied its true home (the trash can) and won the first quarter by 10 points.

However, outside of the Cavalier duo being on fire, the Celtics were in a good place with the most offensive rhythm they've shown in the entire series and had a little something to build off of going into the locker room. At this point, security steps in and the fan was removed. For over/under bettors, 217.5 points is the points total to speculate on. The LeBron James-led Cavs were on a completely different level than the Celts, and all everybody could do was watch and hope the Cavs didn't win by 50.

Cleveland, stunned by Boston in Game 3 after romping two blowout wins in the opening two games of the Eastern Conference series, looked to be heading for another shock as the Celtics dominated the first half.

The potentially harsh reality, a reality no one really wants to contemplate in the middle of another Finals run, is that James can become a free agent after next season. They will try to make it to the Finals for a third consecutive season in Game 5 in Boston on Thursday.

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