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Kyrie Irving

LeBron James on Kyrie Irving’s Game 4 performance: ‘The bigger the stage the bigger he plays’

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The Cleveland Cavaliers for the first time in the playoffs faced adversity heading into Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Things did not appear to be headed in the right direction through the first half of the contest with the Boston Celtics pushing ahead with a comfortable double-digit lead. With LeBron James struggling to find his rhythm due to foul trouble, Kyrie Irving took control of the game scoring a playoff career-high 42 points in the decisive win to grab the Cavaliers a 3-1 series lead.

Following the game, James was quite complimentary of Irving boasting about his ability to continue to step up in key moments when the team needed him most.

“He stepped up big and not let the game get out of control going into the second half. The kid always rises to the occasion. The bigger the stage the bigger he plays and he knew with me going out he had to step up his offensive power even with a pesky Avery Bradley up on him. The kid is special. I have been saying that since I came here and it showed again tonight why he is special.”

Irving did most of his offensive damage in the middle two quarters of the contest. With James picking up his fourth foul in the second quarter, Irving took over scoring 12 of his 18 first-half points in the period, helping keep the Cavaliers stay within striking distances.

However, the All-Star guard made his biggest impact in the third quarter helping create a 17-point swing in the period for Cleveland to grab an 87-80 lead behind 21 points. This included scoring the last 16 points in the period helping completely erase a double-digit deficit.

Without Irving’s strong outing, it wouldn’t have allowed for the Cavaliers to head into Game 5 looking to close out the series to advance to a third straight NBA Finals. His presence should once again play a key role in determining the outcome on Thursday night.

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