Three pivotal games were played last night as the Cleveland Cavaliers looked to advance, the Washington Wizards aimed to tie their series at two games apiece with the Houston Rockets wanting to do the same. The Cavs made easy work of the Toronto Raptors once again and finished the series with a four-game sweep, and both the Wizards and Rockets won to tie their respective series.
The Cavs will now have some much-needed rest as they await their next opponent and the other two series look like they could be going on for much longer. Whoever is able to win Game 5 between the Boston Celtics and Wizards and San Antonio Spurs and Rockets will set themselves up nicely to close out their series.
Game 4: Cleveland Cavaliers @ Washington Wizards (Cavs win series, 4-0)
LeBron James scored 35 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Cavs to a 109-102 victory over the Raptors. Kyrie Irving helped out by scoring 27 points of his own, including hitting many big shots in the fourth quarter. The win marked the eighth consecutive victory for Cleveland and gave them a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals.
DeMar DeRozan and Serge Ibaka tried to will the Raptors to victory, but they were simply overmatched by the firepower of the Cavs. DeRozan finished with 22 points, and Ibaka had 23 points. Cory Joseph filled in admirably for Kyle Lowry as he finished with 20 points and 12 assists. Toronto took a brief lead in the middle of the fourth quarter, but Irving went on a personal 11-2 scoring run to put the Cavs ahead for good.
Game 4: Boston Celtics @ Washington Wizards (Series tied, 2-2)
Four Wizards starters finished in double figures to lead a balanced attack to beat the Celtics, 121-102. Bradley Beal finished with a game-high 29 points, and John Wall chipped in with 27 points. The game was highlighted by a 26-0 scoring run by the Wizards to put the game away. Boston lead 53-48 early in the third quarter, but soon after Washington was ahead by 21 points. The Wizards’ run was fueled by their defense as they forced the Celtics to commit eight turnovers in that stretch, including back-to-back shot clock violations.
Aside from Isaiah Thomas’ 19 points, no other Boston starter played good enough to challenge the Wizards. Kelly Olynyk and Terry Rozier scored 14 and 16 points respectively off the bench for the Celtics. With the series now tied at 2-2, the series heads back to Boston for a critical Game 5 matchup.
Game 4: San Antonio Spurs @ Houston Rockets (Series tied 2-2)
James Harden’s 28 points led the Rockets to an easy 125-104 victory for the Rockets over the Spurs. Eric Gordon added 22 points of his own as the Rockets never trailed in the game. After making 22 three-pointers in a Game 1 win, the Rockets struggled in Games 2 and 3 from long range but got back on track last night by making 19-of-43 from that distance. Houston led by 15 entering the final period and immediately added to it to really put the game out of reach.
Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 16 points apiece, but it simply wasn’t enough to challenge the Rockets. After holding Houston to less than 100 points in two consecutive games, the Spurs transition and perimeter defense were run off the court. Game 5 is important for the Spurs because of they lose they will go back to Houston with their season the line.