LeBron heaps praise on Cavs teammate

Sheri Evans
May 31, 2017

While the Celtics' lead was still 10 points at halftime, you could see the Cavaliers starting to wake up, led by Kyrie Irving.

Irving had led a 17-point swing in the quarter. "He was born for these moments".

After the Cavs obliterated the Celtics, 130-86, in Game 2, it didn't seem like Boston could stand a chance against LeBron James, 32, Tristan Thompson, 26, and the rest of the Cleveland squad.

First came a step back 3, then a driving layup and a minute later another 3 to get the deficit back to 10.

The Cavs are one win away from setting up a third-straight National Basketball Association finals match-up with the Golden State Warriors and ahead of the fifth game in the Eastern Conference Final series in Boston on Friday morning, James said Australian-born Irving was a star performer.

Fighting to keep their season alive, the Celtics aren't giving an inch despite playing without All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas, who may need surgery on a hip injury.

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

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"In the back of my mind, I thought, 'They can't tie up the series, '" Irving said. He pulled down 17 rebounds to go along with his 17 points, 2 blocks and a steal.

"There's choices", Stevens said. We know ways we can get better. "But he rose to the occasion, and he put the team on his back, and we definitely needed that effort from him".

The Cavs have a 3-1 series lead and will look to secure their third straight trip to the Finals with a win Thursday night in Boston. Jae Crowder had 18 points, Al Horford dropped 16 and Avery Bradley had 19.

Irving did not show any noticeable limp following the game as he walked down the hallway, stopping to hug and kiss friends and family following his performance.

"I feel like we're humble enough to know we haven't played well at home", he said.

They were two of the NBA's best players during the regular season and played pivotal roles in helping their respective teams reach the Eastern Conference finals.

Irving made nine of his ten shots in the 40-23 third quarter, grilling the Celtics off the dribble with his ridiculous array of moves to the basket and a deep three-pointer to end the quarter. Cavs G J.R. Smith and his wife brought home from the hospital their baby daughter Dakota, who had been in a Cleveland-area NICU since her birth in January.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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