Cavaliers sweep, but Love injures shoulder
LeBron James dribbled out the final 20 seconds on Sunday while players embraced as the Cleveland Cavaliers completed a fourgame sweep of the Boston Celtics in an Eastern Conference playoff series.
It may have been the calmest, most congenial 20 seconds of a physical game in Boston that left two players with potentially serious injuries and Cleveland wondering if Kevin Love would be ready for the next round.
One thing is certain: Love was angry after Cleveland beat Boston, 101-93, in a game he left midway through the first quarter because of a dislocated left shoulder.
Kelly Olynyk had his right arm entangled with Love’s left arm — a move Love called “bush league” and intentional — as both went for a loose ball. Love grabbed his left shoulder and ran immediately to the locker room. Boston Coach Brad Stevens said deliberately hurting a player is not in Olynyk’s personality.
James, who led Cleveland with 27 points, said he’s “seen a lot of tie-ups in my day, but that one looked different.”
Later, Boston’s Jae Crowder was involved in two physical plays. First, he was shoved by Kendrick Perkins and both drew technical fouls. Then he left the game with a sprained left knee when he was knocked down as J.R. Smith swung his arm backward while jostling for a rebound early in the third quarter. Smith was ejected and faces possible suspension to start the next round.
“Things got a little chippy,” said Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving, who had 24 points. “Game 4 was the most physical game I have ever played in.”
Cleveland faces the winner of the Chicago-Milwaukee series. The Bulls lead, 3-1.
at Dallas 121, Houston 109: Monta Ellis scored 31 points, J.J. Barea had 17 points and 13 assists, and the Mavericks won Game 4 to avoid elimination.
The Rockets still lead the series, three games to one, and Game 5 is Tuesday in Houston. James Harden scored 24 points for the Rockets and Dwight Howard had 13, but only three after the first quarter. Houston, trying to wrap up its first postseason series victory since 2009, missed 17 straight shots covering the second and third quarters.
at Washington 125, Toronto 94: The Wizards emphatically completed the first sweep of a seven-game series in club history and 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.
Bradley Beal scored 23 points and Marcin Gortat had 21 points and 11 rebounds as Washington advanced to the East semifinals against No. 1 seed Atlanta or No. 8 Brooklyn. The Hawks lead that series, 2-1.