CLEVELAND — Kyrie Irving took over in the second half and finished with 42 points, LeBron James added 34, and the Cleveland Cavaliers moved to within one win of the N.B.A. finals by rallying to beat the Boston Celtics, 112-99, on Tuesday night in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Irving stayed on the floor despite rolling his left ankle in the third quarter, when he scored 19 in less than five minutes, and James shook off early foul trouble as the Cavs opened a 3-1 lead in the series. Cleveland, the defending league champion, seems all but assured of a third consecutive meeting with the Golden State Warriors in the title round.
Game 5 is Thursday night in Boston. If Games 3 and 4 are any indication, it won’t be easy. Fighting to keep their season alive, the Celtics aren’t giving an inch despite playing without the All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas, who may need surgery for a hip injury.
With Cleveland in jeopardy of dropping its second straight game after James followed an 11-point Game 3 by picking up four first-half fouls, Irving put on a breathtaking one-man show in the third quarter.