Kyrie Irving is special.
The All-Star point guard put the Cleveland Cavaliers on his back, notching a playoff career-high 42 points Tuesday night as the Cavs clawed out of a 16-point hole and captured a 112-99 Game 4 victory over the Boston Celtics.
LeBron James, who was limited in the opening half after picking up four early fouls, appreciated the effort but was by no means surprised by it.
“Kyrie stepped up big and (did) not let the game get out of control going into the second half,” James said in his walk-off interview with FOX Sports Ohio.
“That kid always rises to the occasion. The bigger the stage, the bigger he plays. And he knew with me going out that he had to step up his offensive power, even with the pesky Avery Bradley up on him. The kid’s special. I’ve been saying that since I came here. And he showed it again tonight why he’s special.”
James had cited his belief in Irving as one of the reasons he returned to the Cavs in 2014 following four years with the Miami Heat. Here they are embracing postgame:
The remaining member of Cleveland’s Big Three, Kevin Love, echoed James’ sentiment.
“Kyrie Irving was very special,” he told NBA on TNT.
Uncle Drew collected his 42 on 15-of-22 shooting from the field and 4-of-7 from long range Tuesday at Quicken Loans. He also chipped in four dimes, three boards, and highlight after highlight.
The trio combined for 93 points – the highest total for them in a postseason contest – and assisted on an extra 10, contributing to a whopping 92 percent of Cleveland’s 112 points.
As a team, the Cavs tied their playoff franchise record by shooting 59.5 percent from the field (and 71 percent in the second half to propel their comeback).
They need just one more win to punch their ticket back to the NBA Finals, where the Golden State Warriors await.