May 12: Cavs 88, Celtics 77

The AP reports: LeBron James scored 21 points, delivering a devastating dunk over a defenseless Kevin Garnett in the final two minutes, as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the homesick Celtics 88-77 in Game 4 on Monday night to tie the best-of-seven series at 2-2. Still stuck in a shooting slump, James dominated down the stretch and finished with 13 assists—four in the fourth quarter. The Cavaliers, too, showed that they can play stingy defense, holding the Celtics—the NBA’s best defensive team—to just 12 points in the final period… Boston dropped to 0-5 on the road in the postseason, a stunning slip for a team that went 31-10 outside their home floor during the regular season… Garnett scored 15 points, but only two in the second half, as Cavaliers forward Anderson Varejao harassed Boston’s All-Star all night. Allen had 15 points and Pierce 13, but the Celtics’ Big Three were only a combined 16-of-40… USC star O.J. Mayo, alleged to have accepted money from a sports agency, sat courtside. Stat Notes: The Cavs shot 45.5%, the Celtics just 38.6%. While the Cavs were just 6-of-17 from three-point range, the Celtics were an awful 2-of-14. The Cavs had the edge in rebounds and assists. Both teams committed very few turnovers.

For the Cavaliers, James shot 7-of-20 for 21 points, 6 rebounds, 13 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. Wally Szczerbiak scored 14. Daniel Gibson had 14, 6 points and 4 assists. Anderson Varejao shot 6-of-8 for 12 points and 6 rebounds.

For the Celtics, Kevin Garnett had 15 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists. Rajon Rondo on 14 shots had 15 points and 2 steals. Ray Allen (4-of-10) had 15 points and 6 rebounds. Paul Pierce was just 6-of-17 for 13 points and 5 rebounds. P.J. Brown came off the bench to shoot 4-of-4 for 8 points and 6 rebounds. James Posey, Sam Cassell, Leon Powe and Glen Davis all combined to shoot 0-for-10.

Author: Inside Hoops has been a world leader in NBA basketball coverage for over 20 years. Read our blog, but also be sure to read our main website on