CLEVELAND -- LeBron James put his mom and then the Boston Celtics in their places.
James scored 21 points, delivering a devastating dunk over Kevin Garnett in the final two minutes, as the Cleveland Cavaliers kept the Celtics winless on the road in the playoffs, 88-77, in Game 4 on Monday night to tie the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series at 2-2.
Still stuck in a shooting slump (seven for 20), James dominated down the stretch and finished with 13 assists -- four in the fourth quarter. The Cavaliers also showed that they can play stingy defense too, holding the Celtics -- the NBA’s best defensive team -- to only 12 points in the final period.
“That’s what we needed to do,” said James, who yelled at his mother, Gloria, to sit down after she came to his defense early in the game after he got tangled with Paul Pierce and Garnett.
The players’ momentum had carried them into a crowded front row, where Gloria James told Pierce to leave her baby alone.
“I told her to sit down, in some language I shouldn’t have used,” James said. “Thank God today wasn’t Mother’s Day. All I could think about is her. . . . I know my mother. It’s fine, we’re good.”
Boston fell to 0-5 on the road in the postseason after going 31-10 during the regular season.
“It’s hard to say. I have no answer for it,” Ray Allen said.