Cava­liers sweep Celtics as James scores 27

The China Post - - SPORTS -

LeBron James scored 27 points as the Cleve­land Cava­liers over­came a shoul­der in­jury to Kevin Love to com­plete a first-round sweep of the Bos­ton Celtics with a 101-93 victory Sun­day.

Love left the court in the first quar­ter with a dis­lo­cated left shoul­der, and J. R. Smith was ejected for swing­ing his arm at Jae Crow­der, but the Cava­liers held on to win a se­ries for the first time since 2010, James left for Miami.

Now Cleve­land gets ex­tra time be­fore fac­ing the win­ner of the Chicago- Mil­wau­kee se­ries. The Bulls lead 3-1.

The Cava­liers said Love would re­turn to Cleve­land with the team and re­ceive ad­di­tional ex­am­i­na­tion, imag­ing and eval­u­a­tion at Cleve­land Clinic Sports Health over the next 24 hours be­fore his sta­tus is up­dated.

The Clip­pers’ Chris Paul had 34 points and seven as­sists, and Blake Grif­fin added 20 points and 19 re­bounds, as Los An­ge­les beat the San An­to­nio Spurs 114-105 to even their first-round se­ries at two games each.

J.J. Redick scored 17 points for the Clip­pers and Austin Riv-

be­fore ers pro­vided an un­ex­pected boost off the bench with a post­sea­son ca­reer-high 16 points.

Game 5 of the only se­ries that is level af­ter four games is Tues­day in Los An­ge­les.

Kawhi Leonard scored 26 points, Tim Dun­can had 22 points and 10 re­bounds and Tony Parker added 18 points, but Paul proved too much.

Paul hit jumpers over Parker and Dun­can in scor­ing six straight points for the Clip­pers be­gin­ning mid­way through the fourth quar­ter. He then drove the lane and kicked out to Redick, who drained a 3-pointer for a 106-92 lead.

The Wash­ing­ton Wiz­ards em­phat­i­cally com­pleted the first sweep of a seven-game se­ries in club his­tory, get­ting 23 points from Bradley Beal and 21 points and 11 re­bounds from Marcin Gor­tat to beat the Toronto Rap­tors 125-94.

Paul Pierce, who re­peat­edly said he didn’t want to have to go back through U.S. Cus­toms for any more games in Canada, added 14 points, in­clud­ing a pair of 3-point­ers in the third quar­ter as Wash­ing­ton’s lead reached 32 en­ter­ing the fourth.

Wash­ing­ton has reached the sec­ond round of the play­offs in con­sec­u­tive sea­sons for the first time since get­ting to the NBA Fi­nals in 1979, a year af­ter win­ning the ti­tle.

The Dal­las Mav­er­icks avoided elim­i­na­tion with a 121-109 win over the Hous­ton Rock­ets af­ter Monta El­lis scored 31 points, and J.J. Barea had 17 points and 13 as­sists in his first play­off start since boost­ing Dal­las’ run to the 2011 cham­pi­onship.

Dal­las cut Hous­ton’s lead to 3-1 in the first-round se­ries. Game 5 is Tues­day night in Hous­ton.

The Rock­ets, try­ing to wrap up their first post­sea­son se­ries victory since 2009, missed 17 con­sec­u­tive shots cov­er­ing the sec­ond and third quar­ters. The most­pro­lific 3-point shoot­ing team in NBA his­tory in the regular sea­son was 7 of 31 from long range.

James Harden scored 24 points, and Dwight Howard had 13. But the big man was kept un­der con­trol af­ter scor­ing 10 points with two more al­ley-oop dunks in the first quar­ter.

AP

Hous­ton Rock­ets’ Trevor Ariza #1, Josh Smith #5, and James Harden #13 de­fend in the paint forc­ing Dal­las Mav­er­icks’ Dirk Now­itzki #41 of Ger­many to pass the ball back in the sec­ond half of Game 4 in an NBA first-round play­off se­ries in Dal­las on Sun­day, April 26.

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