NBA

LeBron James on Kyrie Irving: ‘The kid’s special. I’ve been saying that since I came here’

Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers
PHOTOGRAPH: Keith Allison/Flickr | Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavalier bounced back from a dismal first half to beat the Boston Celtics, 112-99, in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday night at Quicken Loans Arena. LeBron James praised Kyrie Irving for stepping up in the game when the Cavs need him the most.

“Kyrie stepped up big and (did) not let the game get out of control going into the second half,” James said in his walk-off interview with FOX Sports Ohio. “That kid always rises to the occasion. The bigger the stage, the bigger he plays. And he knew with me going out that he had to step up his offensive power, even with the pesky Avery Bradley up on him. The kid’s special. I’ve been saying that since I came here. And he showed it again tonight why he’s special.”

Cavs’ “Big Three” combined for 93 points in Game 4

The Celtics started the game strong and led by 10 points at the end of the first quarter. The Cavs’ struggle continues after LeBron James picked up his fourth foul with 6:46 remaining in the second quarter. Coach Tyronn Lue was forced to take him out of the court, giving the Celtics the opportunity to stretch the lead.

Unfortunately, the Celtics failed to take advantage of the situation as Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving stepped up in James’ absence. The Cavaliers managed to bounce back in the second half and completed a comeback to get their third victory. The Cavs’ “Big Three” established another dominant performance, scoring 93 of their 112 points.

Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers with 42 points, four assists, and three rebounds on 68.2 percent shooting from the field and 57.1 percent from beyond the arc. James added 34 points, six assists, and five rebounds while Love posted a double-double, 17 points, and 17 rebounds.

LeBron James credited Brad Stevens for making Celtics competitive

When the Celtics lost Isaiah Thomas in Game 2, most people see the Cavaliers easily advancing to the NBA Finals. However, the opposite thing happened in Game 3 where the Celtics grabbed their first win of the series. The Celtics showed the same intensity in Game 4 but fell short.

The Cavaliers noticed the Celtics’ weakness, especially on the offensive end. Still, LeBron James had some praise for coach Brad Stevens for helping Boston remain competitive in the series.

“So they had to kind of reshape [without Thomas] and that’s the beauty of having Brad Stevens as your coach,” James said. “You’re able to reshape what you do offensively and still be in a good rhythm. It’s been challenging for us to kind of — plays out of timeout, [they’ve] kind of been killing us on ATOs and keeping us off-balance, but in the second half we kind of got a little bit of rhythm and think we’ll be better in Game 5.”

Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr

Video courtesy: Youtube/FreeDawkins

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