Cleveland Cavaliers beat Boston Celtics to advance to NBA Finals

Did you know NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was so anxious about the league's TV ratings that he rang up LeBron James and told him to take it easy on the Celtics?

The Cavs and Warriors are the first teams to meet in three-consecutive NBA Finals.

Irving scored 21 points in the third quarter at Quicken Loans Arena as the Cavaliers fought back from a 57-47 half-time deficit to defeat the Boston Celtics 112-99.

Irving said he was driven by the thought of the Cavs seeing their series lead vanish.

At one point in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday, the Celtics led the Cavaliers 49-33, and it appeared Boston might be headed for a 2-2 series tie.

In the third quarter alone, Irving tied a Cavalier postseason record for points in a quarter (21), and set a franchise playoff record for field goals made in a single quarter with nine.

In the fourth, the Cavaliers looked like themselves again. Cleveland holds a 3-1 lead now with Game 5 set for 8:30 p.m. Thursday in Boston. In Game 3, Smart was hitting that pull up three off the ball screen, but in Game 4, he looked like he was someone that shot 28 percent from three during the regular season. But otherwise, they've been among the NBA's 10 best players each year of this decade.

Kyrie Irving was at his explosive best May 23 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals.

After trailing by as much as ten, 98-88, early in the fourth quarter, the Celtics would get back within six, 103-97, with 4:20 to play in the game.

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue made a potentially risky move by keeping LeBron in the game after he got four fouls in the first half.

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Kyrie nearly outscored the Celtics on his own in the third quarter (23-21), and his historic third quarter onslaught helped give the Cavs a seven point cushion entering the fourth quarter after having trailed the Celtics by ten at halftime.

"[The Celtics] are giving us everything that they have, and we're expecting it, and we want the challenge", said James.

"I don't think I've ever had four fouls in a game before in the first, so my rhythm is kind of broken", James said. His game was built for it, and I'm happy, like I said, to be able to, I guess, sit back with four fouls and see him do what he's always been built to do.

Kevin Love posted his fourth straight double-double (6th of 2017 postseason) with 17 points, including 3-5 (.600) shooting from deep, a playoff career-high 17 rebounds, a playoff career-best five assists, a steal and two blocks in 42 minutes. Jae Crowder finished with 18 points while Al Horford chipped in with 16 to go with a game-high seven assists.

So why let facts get in the way of a good conspiracy theory?

The third quarter did more than give the Cavs an 87-80 lead.

After Love scored back-to-back buckets, Swish drained a bomb to get Cleveland to within three, 69-66.

The Bench: The Cavs got 19 points in the first half off the bench from Deron Williams and Kyle Korver.

By the Numbers - 24.5, 12.8 ... The second hint was Cavs coach Tyronn Lue's postgame presser: When the aforementioned Roda posed a question, Lue flashed a smile and said, "That's amusing".

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