Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics - 5/25/17 NBA Playoffs Pick, Odds, and Prediction

From left the Celtics’ Al Horford Avery Bradley Jonas Jerebko and Kelly Olynyk watch from the bench during Game 5 on Thursday

From left the Celtics’ Al Horford Avery Bradley Jonas Jerebko and Kelly Olynyk watch from the bench during Game 5 on Thursday

For the first half of Tuesday's Game 4 against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Celtics picked up where they left off in Game 3 in quieting LeBron James.

LeBron James surpassed Michael Jordan for the top spot on the NBA's all-time playoff scoring list on Thursday night [Friday NZT] as the Cavaliers beat the Boston Celtics 135-102 to win the Eastern Conference finals 4-1. It has nothing to do with passing the rings, passing the points, passing MVPs. "It's tough, you know, it's tough". The same Isaiah Thomas that led the Boston Celtics to the Eastern Conference Finals and this is the same Isaiah Thomas that has earned consecutive trips to the All-Star Game and earned a place on the All-NBA Second Team this year.

"I'm just happy and blessed that when I chose to come back that I was able to help him blossom, I guess, because he gets to play in games that he's always been built for".

"We've been in that position before", Love said.

"This is a big step for us", said Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue, "especially what we went through all season, and we were doubted throughout the regular season". Jordan scored 5,987 in his postseason career in 179 games from 1985-2003.

"I thought we played a little too haphazard tonight", Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. After winning three titles, Jordan then missed the 1994 playoffs due to his first retirement before retiring a second time in 1998 following his sixth and final championship. James had 20. Kyrie Irving had 19 and Kevin Love 12 points.

In all of National Basketball Association history, the best run through the playoffs belongs to Shaq and Kobe and the Lakers in 2001, when the only game they lost in the postseason was to the 76ers in the Finals. This is a franchise that you kind of no matter who's out on the floor, you have to play for that franchise and play with pride. While Al Horford and Avery Bradley proved to be extremely effective in the playoffs, the Celtics still needed another player that can score consistently.

Kyrie Irving had 24 points and seven assists and the Cavaliers, who sat their starters for the entire fourth quarter.

For the third time in as many TD Garden games in the series, the Cavaliers never trailed.

LeBron James said closeouts are by far the most challenging games of a postseason series. "Their mindset hasn't changed (since Thomas went down), it's just the way they're playing has changed".

In the end, the Celtics season concluded with a roaring cheer from their fans as they spent the last five minutes of the game chanting "Let's go Celtics!"

"It's a mindset, just being prepared, being ready, knowing you're going to expect a team's best shot that night", said Lue.

The Cleveland Cavaliers were supposed to get there, and they did.

"We're definitely disappointed. I feel like if we weren't, there would be a problem", he said. Kelly Olynyk another. Marcus Smart stepped into the starting lineup, and rookie Jaylen Brown helped out from the bench. Heck, even back-up point guard Deron Williams got in on the action, scoring 14 points in the first half.

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