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If you give LeBron James an inch, he’s going to want the series

We have that and more in Tuesday’s NBA newsletter.

Boston Celtics v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Four Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

On the one hand, the Celtics are going to regret letting LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers take back a fighting chance in this series by winning both games at home and evening the Eastern Conference Finals (which Cleveland did with a 111-102 victory on Monday). On the other hand, the Celtics had relatively little to do with it.

The Celtics have been a bad road team all postseason, and while Boston got its defensive tenacity back on Monday, the Cavaliers continued to keep Al Horford in check and LeBron went LeBron, with 44 points on 17-for-28 shooting.

It was LeBron’s sixth 40-point performance this postseason (in 15 games). Like clockwork, he’s the best player in the NBA every darn time the playoffs roll around. (Kevin Durant has the only other claim this year.)

Now Boston needs to either hold off LeBron and the Cavs twice at home or somehow win Game 6 in Cleveland. Gooooood luck. Because when you give LeBron an inch, he’s going to want to take the whole series.

Monday’s Score

Cavaliers 111, Celtics 102
Series tied 2-2
Recaps: Fear The Sword | CelticsBlog

Tuesday’s Schedule

Rockets at Warriors, 9 p.m. ET, TNT
Golden State leads 2-1

Sparks at Fever, 7 p.m. ET, Streaming on Twitter

Links Galore

I screamed when Kevin Love pulled off this absolutely bonkers outlet pass to a double-covered LeBron. Love was one of those kids who was amazing at every sport he tried, huh?

On Stephen Curry’s weaponized joy.

Andre Iguodala is doubtful for Tuesday. Folks are acting like this is a monumental deal. The pendulum on Iguodala’s reputation has swung so darn hard over the last few years.

The Spurs could still offer Kawhi Leonard a supermax extension this summer. If he took it, that would ... uh, change the mood around Kawhi in both San Antonio and, say, Los Angeles. If he turned it down ... yikes. Bruno Passos peels back the layers.

I wrote about Kevin Durant’s ego.

Stephen Curry cursed on TV and now my family is in shambles and my faith is good in irreparably shaken.

Unwrapping the Karl-Anthony Towns rumors.

Run TMC watches a Warriors’ game together for the first time in a long time with Scott Cacciola.

Thirteen key moments in LeBron’s NBA journey.

How Terry Rozier and his sister bonded through struggle.


Inspired by Craig Jenkins (one of the best music writers in the world) and my lovely children, a brief ranking of the best modern Disney soundtracks. And by best I mean a) has bangers and b) is listenable all the way through.

5. Mulan — “Reflection” might be the best Disney song ever, though.
4. Frozen
3. Aladdin
2. The Princess and The Frog — There’s a Dr. John track. Get there.
1. Moana

Honorable mention to The Lion King and The Little Mermaid. Coco is No. 1 among Pixar movies and could be top-five overall except the soundtrack is structured pretty weird with lots of versions of “Remember Me” stacked up in a row. You can build a short Coco playlist that rivals Moana for quality, though.


Congratulations to Steve Kerr for winning the Pro Basketball Writers Association’s Rudy Tomjanovich Award, given to the coach who is right combination of good at their job and nice to the media. No sarcasm: we should have more awards for being nice. I do wish, though, that Kerr had taken at least one serious question more seriously.

What could the Hornets get in a Kemba Walker trade? Cap relief seems like a tough pull in a tighter financial market for the NBA.

Kevin O’Connor shares rumors making the rounds at the NBA Draft Combine.

There’s only one reasonable path for the Nuggets when it comes to Nikola Jokic’s team option: decline it and lock him up long-term.

And finally, enjoy Joel Embiid’s scouting report on Aron Baynes.

Be excellent to each other.