Click “Next” at the bottom of this page for all of today’s top plays and highlights!
The Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics played an incredibly tough and physical Game 4 in Boston, and came out victorious 101-93. The main focus however, are on two key starters who left the game in the first and third quarters, respectively. Kevin Love suffered a shoulder injury, which some reports say is a dislocated shoulder, and J.R. Smith was ejected for smacking Jae Crowder in the face while both were fighting for a rebound.
The Cavs got off to a great start tonight as Kevin Love scoring his first and only basket on the first Cavalier possession, and Cleveland proceeded to run off 10 straight points later on to take a 17-8 lead. At the 5:24 mark of the first quarter, Kelly Olynyk and Kevin Love were both fighting for a loose ball rebound. Olynyk, as shown on the videos on the next page, clearly pulls Love’s arm down and eventually out of its socket, dislocating his shoulder. Love immediately ran to the locker room holding his shoulder and did not return. Play continued and it seemed to instigate physical play the rest of the game. Kyrie Irving hit a three-pointer at the end of the quarter to give the Cavs a 29-19 lead after one.
Boston scored a pair of baskets to start the second quarter, but Cleveland proceeded to run off 12 straight to take a 41-23 lead. There were hard fouls being given and players were getting more physical as both teams scored mini runs back and forth. Cavs center Kendrick Perkins entered at the 2:21 mark, and within 40 seconds, set a hard screen on Celtics forward Jae Crowder, a play that got players involved in pushing and shoving and earned Perkins a flagrant foul type one. Cleveland took a 57-36 halftime lead.
The physical play continued in the third quarter when J.R. Smith and Crowder got into it while trying to box each other out on a three-point attempt. Crowder pushed Smith twice in the back, and J.R. Smith retaliated by swinging his arm behind him and connecting with Crowder’s face. Crowder seemingly collapsed but remained conscious. But while collapsing, Crowder’s knee bent very awkwardly and he had to be carried off the court. J.R. Smith was ejected from the game, and Boston proceeded to cut the Cavalier 21-point halftime lead to just nine at 70-61 going into the fourth.
JR Smith told me he's going to reach out to Jae Crowder. "That's not what I intended happen. I'm definitely going to check on him."
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) April 26, 2015
After scoring or assisting on all of their points in the past two fourth quarters, Cleveland went into isolation basketball again with Kyrie Irving and LeBron James. Both came through again, as the Cavs upped their lead to 91-75. Boston had one more run in them, trimming the Cavalier lead to 99-93 with 36 seconds left and possession of the ball. Cleveland was able to get some stops and came away with the 101-93 victory over Boston.
LeBron James led the way with 27 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, and three steals. Kyrie Irving came up with his first career playoff double-double at 24 points, 11 rebounds, and three assists.
Kyrie Irving: "Game 4 was the most physical game that I've ever played in"
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) April 26, 2015
Timofey Mozgov had 12 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks. Kevin Love managed just two points and a rebound before leaving the game in the first quarter. J.R. Smith had eight points and two steals before being ejected in the third quarter. Iman Shumpert provided 15 points and 10 rebounds off the bench, and the whole bench combined for 28 points.
Cavs cautiously optimistic on Love's shoulder. Early hope is because of how injury occurred, not as serious as Shumpert's earlier in season.
— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) April 26, 2015
Cleveland sweeps Boston and now awaits the winner of the Bulls-Bucks series with resumes Monday evening. Cleveland also awaits word on Kevin Love and J.R. Smith’s statuses for the next round and the entire playoffs. The severity of Love’s injury is not known, as he’ll be evaluated in Cleveland upon the Cavs return on Monday. J.R. Smith is facing a possible suspension after the hit to Crowder’s face.
JR Smith says his hit on Crowder wasn't intentional. He's "nervous as hell" he could be suspended
— Jason Lloyd (@JasonLloydABJ) April 26, 2015
Kevin Love says his shoulder actually feels better now. Says he hopes he can play Game 1 of second round.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) April 26, 2015
Click “Next” below for all of today’s top plays and highlights!
LeBron James takes the pick from Mozgov. With the Celtic defense draped on James, LeBron bounce passes inside to Mozgov for the one hand stuff!
Kyrie Irving takes the Mozgov screen, drives to the basket, and euro-steps around former Cavalier Tyler Zeller and floats it in!
Kevin Love and Kelly Olynyk fight for the rebound, but Olynyk pulls down on Love’s shoulder to keep him away from the ball. He pushed it so much, that Love’s shoulder reportedly popped out and Kevin Love ran to the locker room immediately. He will not return to Game 4.
With Boston changing their defense up to a 2-3 zone, Kyrie Irving takes the screen from Tristan Thompson, goes towards the baseline, shakes and bakes the defenders, and hits the jumper!
LeBron James takes it past Marcus Smart and banks it in over three defenders.