LeBron James, Isaiah Thomas share long hug after series

0:53 | NBA        Le Bron James on Game 3 loss 'I didn't have it'

The Cavs, meanwhile, wouldn't be on the cusp of the Finals without Irving.

It took 10 games and halfway through the third round of the National Basketball Association playoffs before the Cleveland Cavaliers finally encountered their first true dose of resistance this postseason. LeBron joined the fray in the second half where Cleveland outscored Boston, 65-42.

After the game, James reasoned that some adversity could be a good thing for the Cavs, considering their 10-0 start to the playoffs offered minimal resistance.

"Kyrie Irving and LeBron James would be the two answers", Stevens said when asked what changed in the second half.

It just may be that while James is the best player in the Eastern Conference, Irving is the second-best.

Such a scenario was prevented by a fantastic Kyrie Irving, who took matters into his own hands in the third quarter and a double-digit minus was quickly changed to a routine ending by the hosts. But they deserve credit. They have the No. 1 pick; we'll see what they do with that.

James scored just 11 points in Game 3 on 4-for-13 shooting. "It was great for us, and we're happy with getting back to The Finals, but we're definitely not satisfied where we are".

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The previous franchise record for points in a half was 74, set by the Cavaliers on May 4, 2016, against the Atlanta Hawks. Countered Golden State acting coach Mike Brown , when asked about it Thursday: "That's his opinion".

He was able to take advantage of smaller players like Jaylen Brown and Avery Bradley guarding him and take high percentage shots close to the basket. There was even a gut-clenching moment midway through where the Cavs' point guard fell to the ground with an apparent ankle injury, only to rise up a minute or so later and run it off.

Kyrie Irving added 24 points and Kevin Love chipped in 15 and Deron Williams added 14 off the bench for Cleveland, who led by as many as 39 points.

LeBron James had his first bad game of the postseason, and another might not be coming for a while. They lost the first two games at home in the first round against Chicago, then came back to win four in a row. "We needed everything tonight". "It was huge for our team". The Cavs only had two points off turnovers, while Boston had 13. "It's been challenging for us to kind of- plays out of timeouts... keeping us off-balance but in the second half [of Game 4] we got a little bit of rhythm and I think it'll be a lot better in Game 5". What made it even more wonderful is that Smart is normally not a good three-point shooter. The degree of difficulty was off the charts, but that didn't matter to Kyrie, who led the Cavs to a 112-99 victory and left the Celtics on the brink of elimination. If Irving keeps playing like this, they won't have many problems.

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

But it was Irving who was the undeniable star of the show for his spellbinding third quarter masterpiece that transformed the game.

Roughly 180 - The decibel level when Irving sprung back up and sprinted down the court, comparable to the noise emitted from a rocket launch.

The Cavaliers came out of halftime with new energy and determination.

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