Basketball fans are ready to watch Celtics vs. Cavs Game 4 on television or live stream online Tuesday night to see if Boston can pull off another improbable win. The third game of the Eastern Conference Finals series required a strong effort from Isaiah Thomas’ supporting cast, as the All-Star guard is out for the rest of the postseason with a hip injury. However, Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, and the rest of the Celtics’ players were able to weather a 21-point deficit and ultimately come back in the second half. Bradley’s three-point attempt got the lucky bounce and left the Celtics ahead with just 0.1 seconds on the clock. That delivered a shocking win for these NBA Playoffs as an undermanned Celtics team surprised a team that had a 10-0 record in the postseason.
The two teams return to Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena on Tuesday night for Game 4, and one has to think LeBron James will bounce back from his disappointing performance in the third matchup. James finished with a mere 11 points on 4-for-13 shooting for a rare night, with many people feeling the superstar player simply “disengaged” from the game. However, his teammates Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love scored 28 points and 29 points, respectively. The Cavs will look to come out with a renewed focus in tonight’s game based on their “letdown” in the previous contest. LeBron mentioned he and his team’s focus coming into this matchup as correcting mistakes from the previous outing.
As ESPN reported, his Cavs teammate J.R. Smith believes a better LeBron will emerge for tonight’s game.
“He’s got to be aggressive, get downhill, play like he’s been playing, play confident. That’s what I always think, when people of his stature or people like him, you’ve got to play confident the whole night and play aggressive. It’s the Eastern Conference finals. It’s not enough for him. For what he does, what he brings, it’s not enough. He knows that. We know that. Just expect him to be better in Game 4.”
If that’s the case, the Celtics will need to perform just as well as they did in Game 3, if not better, for Tuesday’s contest. As Fox Sports’ Dieter Kurtenbach pointed out after the shocking win, the Celtics never gave up, showing a consistent effort in a game that everyone expected to be another blowout. While LeBron’s rare off-night is given as one reason for the win, other reasons include Jonas Jerebko’s arrival off the bench and the Celtics exploiting Kevin Love’s defense. While Love still scored a good bit of points, he also showed his continued weakness at guarding the pick and roll.
As the third game showed, now that the Celtics are without Thomas, there’s that “unknown factor” in terms of who might emerge as their star. Marcus Smart showed his abilities by nailing seven of the 10 three-point shots he took and finished with 27 points to go with seven rebounds and five assists. Avery Bradley recorded 20 points on 8-for-23 shooting, with his biggest shot that late three-pointer he hit based off of Celtics coach Brad Stevens’ drawn-up play.
In addition to the two Celtics starters who picked up the slack in Thomas’ absence, Al Horford had 16 points while Jae Crowder had 14 points and 11 boards. Kelly Olynyk emerged off the bench to get 15 points, while Jerebko was 4-for-4, including 2-for-2 on three-pointers to finish with 10 points. The Celtics will need more of those unsung heroes to emerge as they still have at least two games to grab another win.
The Boston Celtics overcame the odds in Game 3 to record that thrilling last-second victory, but can they make it two in a row? The oddsmakers don’t believe so, as the Cleveland Cavaliers are a 15-point favorite at home tonight, or -4,000 on the moneyline. Fans who think Boston pulls off the upset again should consider their +1,400 price as an underdog. For over/under bettors, 217.5 points is the points total to speculate on. The two teams hit 219 points in the Celtics’ Game 3 victory.
The Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Game 4 has a scheduled start time of 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday evening. Fans can watch this game live on TNT. In addition, the TNTDrama website offers a live streaming feed of the game to all cable and satellite subscribers who have TNT as part of their TV channel lineup.
For a free way to watch the Celtics vs. Cavs live streaming online, SlingTV is the way to go. This streaming service has TNT on its middle channel package called Sling Blue and offers all new customers who sign up a one-week free trial. That will allow for fans to see Game 4 tonight, as well as Game 5 on Thursday night from Boston. More details are available at Sling.com on how to sign up and enjoy the service.
[Featured Image by Jason Miller/Getty Images]