LeBron struggles, exchanges words with fan after Game 3 loss

Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas looks to pass the ball as Cleveland Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert left defends during the first half of Game 2 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals Friday

A basketball junkie, Lue watches as much as he can, and takes mental notes. "We have a great game plan and we look forward to the matchup".

Before the first game against the Chicago Bulls, Thomas had a moment and cried.

He wanted that work done early so he could sharpen specific defensive strategies behind the scenes, in practices and shootarounds, for anticipated showdowns.

After being destroyed in the previous two contests, the Celtics were already considered to be eliminated from this series.

It's odd to imagine the Celtics could lose their leading scorer - Thomas was averaging 23.3 points a game before a hip injury in Game 2 of the conference finals ended his season - and be more of a challenge.

"That's no excuse. They played well, but we've just got to play better, be more physical". "It's a weird thing with you, Kenny, you always come around when we lose, I swear". And those conversations will likely be had in Boston.

Stevens could say his team tripling its turnover rate was a result of sloppy ball-handling. "What do you want me to say?" he said.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens was disappointed with his team's defense on Irving, who was able to spread the floor while surrounded by shooters. And we need Smart to play that way all the time. As a team, the Celtics made just 10 of 31 3-pointers in Game 4 after sinking 18 of 45 in Game 3.

Bradley's shot at the buzzer of Game 3 touched every part of the rim before bouncing in, giving the Celtics an improbable 111-108 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"The key for us was to chip away", said Bradley, who made 18 three-pointers for the game. Two players from the last two decades that have often been discussed with James among all-time greats are Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. "Because they got a tough group over there". We just kept fighting.

Kyrie Irving also deserves credit - he had a team-high 29 points and shot 10-for-15, including 4-for-6 from deep, with seven assists. "They make it really hard on you". It was an intense moment made odd by the fact that a Cavs fan would heckle James for an off night when James is the one who delivered Cleveland a championship last June.

He had scored at least 30 points in eight consecutive playoff games, the first player to do that since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1970, and there didn't seem to be anything the Celtics could do to stop him.

The change left the Cavs without as many matchups to attack, which caused the offense to stall and hesitate at times, just as it did for most of the first half Tuesday.

"The gameplan was to try not to let them get the switch so easily", Jae Crowder said at shoot around.

"A lot of people doubted us out there and thought we were finished", he continued while staring into the camera.
"We knew it wouldn't be easy, but we got some things we can correct and come back ready to go on Tuesday".

The All-Star rolled his ankle in the third quarter of Game 4 when he stepped on Terry Rozier's foot. It was Lue's turn to adjust.

Kevin Love started off the game on fire, recording five 3-pointers in the first quarter. Boston had several open looks, especially in the second half. "So to see him happy and smiling, it was a good feeling for us". Without Thomas, the Celtics put extra effort into moving the ball, and the result was balanced scoring.

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