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The Cavs and Celtics will now play best-of-three following another superior defensive performance by the Cavaliers in 88-77 win to even the series at 2-2.
Daniel Gibson had 14 points and a playoff-career-high six rebounds. Joe Smith had eight points and six rebounds
Wally Szczerbiak hit six of his first nine shots on the way to 14 points.
Varejao guarded Kevin Garnett for much of the second half and did it one-on-one most of the time and stayed in front of him on rebound attempts. Garnett shot just 1-of-7 and got just two rebounds after halftime. AndersonÂ Varejao made 6 of 8 shots down the stretch.
– Anderson Varejao and Wally Szczerbiak were huge parts of the victory.Who figured “Pele” to miss only two of eight shots, even sticking the mid-range jumpers that make you (you know this is true) scream in your wine-and-cold-wrapped heart, “No! No!” Szczerbiak nailed four straight jumpers, three on LeBron James’ assists, to keep the Cavs from falling into their usual third-quarter funk.
– Chir Sheridan on Lebron James dunk over Kevin Garnett, We’ve seen dunks like that out of him before, but did you see LeBron James’ face afterward? Did you see that grimace? That glare?
It was a Baddest Man on the Planet scowl that James wore on his 23-year-old face Monday night after throwing down one of the more vicious dunks that Kevin Garnett has ever been on the receiving end of.
First, James got freed by a pick and blew past Paul Pierce. Next, he made the subtlest little head fake to get James Posey leaning the wrong way, and finally, he went up over Garnett and was undeterred by the two hands KG shoved into his chest as he rose higher and higher and ultimately unleashed a windmill flush that brought the house down.
– Doc River Witnessing the dunk,
“He can dunk. And if you give him a running start at the basket, he’s going to get a good dunk. Once he gets up there, there’s not a lot you can do about it,” Boston coach Doc Rivers said.
– Lebron James gift to the fans,
“That was the play we needed as a team,” James said. “Me as an individual hadn’t had a play like that, our crowd hadn’t seen a play like that since the alley-oop Daniel Gibson threw to me in the first series. They deserved it, our fans deserved it, they were great, and it was great that I was able to give it to them.”
– Ever since a Game 3 loss at Atlanta in the first round of the playoffs, the Celtics’ swagger, poise and big road wins have become a thing of the past. In fact, Boston’s last road win was nearly a month ago: April 14 in New York.
“Itâ€™s pretty frustrating,”Â said Kevin Garnett, who scored just two of his 15 points in the second half, including none in the final quarter. “We had put ourselves in a position to win the game. We just couldnâ€™t make our shots in the fourth.”
Instead, they bowed to the player known just about everywhere as “The King”
– Doc River on Lebron struggles in this series,
“You think LeBron is struggling?” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said to one questioner trying to push that theory. “He had 21 points, 13 assists, six rebounds. He probably forced 15 fouls. We donâ€™t look at that as LeBron struggling. You only look at field goal percentage, but we donâ€™t. We look at the way heâ€™s playing his total game and making plays. The (other) 3s donâ€™t happen without LeBron James.”