Despite Boston's early missed layups and dunks, coupled with Kyle Korver shooting like Ray Allen and blocking shots a la Bill Russell (three in the game), the Celtics still fought back and made it a game.

The missed dunks by the Celtics were maddening. Somehow, missed jams often lead to a fast break by the opposition, and that is what the Cavaliers did.

Kyle Korver hit his first four shots of the game, making it 9-for-9 for him going back to the last game. He had two blocks on Jaylen Brown and three for the game. The Celtics resorted to taking quick shots while the Cavaliers moved nicely on offense with every player touching the ball.

At the 11:15 mark of the second quarter, Boston had dug itself into a 37-18 hole. They never fully recovered from that deficit, but they fought back and gave themselves a shot at winning.

The Celtics had cut the lead to seven points (96-89) with 6:41 left in the game but the early miscues were simply too much to overcome. Jaylen Brown, who had been averaging 15.5 points per game on the road in the playoffs had 25 points in this one. Al Horford, who took only four shots in Game Three, had 13 attempts in this contest, hitting on five of them for 15 points.

Terry Rozier had been averaging only 12.8 PPG on the road and scored 16 points for this game while adding 11 assists. Unlike Game Three in Cleveland, this was no blowout. The Celtics fought back to make the final score 111-102.

One obvious weakness for Boston in this game was the lack of rebounding. Cleveland won the board battle 47-37 with Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson accounting for 23 combined rebounds.

So it is back home to Boston for Game Five, and hopefully Shane Larkin is able to return and spell the guards while adding his usual energy. Despite the early miscues that led to a deep deficit, this Celtics team showed true toughness in fighting back on the road and making this a contest. Another blowout loss may have sent the spirit of the young, injury-depleted team spiraling downward.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Omar Rawlings/Getty Images

Tom Lane 5/22/2018 05:04:00 AM Edit
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