Pressure flips back to Celtics as LeBron, Cavs tie series with Game 4 victory

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LeBron James has reached a sublime level that few athletes have ever achieved: He has normalized absolute greatness.

On Monday, James scored 44 points for the Cavaliers in a vital Eastern Conference finals victory — 111-102 over the Boston Celtics to tie the series at 2-2. It was his sixth 40-point game in the 15 he has played this postseason. He did it playing a version of big brother ball that some like to criticize him for not exploiting at every chance, for sale scoring 13 baskets in the paint, the second most in his playoff career.263

He now has 22 30-point playoff games and four 40-point playoff games against the glorious Celtics franchise, moving into Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West territory. He passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for most baskets in postseason history (in five fewer games). He already has the most points and steals among anyone in playoff history.

And when it was over, there was a collective shrug. James was nonchalant after the game, talking about the need to take some series momentum to Boston for Game 5. He spent significantly more time after the game praising Kyle Korver (14 points, three blocks) and Tristan Thompson (13 points and 12 rebounds, to go with strong defense) than talking about anything he did.

In the locker room as he iced his body after yet another 40-minute outing, James was talking to his 3-year-old daughter, Zhuri, on FaceTime when she asked to talk to Kevin Love. James passed the phone to Love and Zhuri complimented Love on his game, which included 3-of-12 shooting, five turnovers and five fouls.

This week, a former student at James’ high school in Akron, Ohio, started a GoFundMe account looking to raise money to erect a statue in James’ honor in the city. He is the most famous resident in the history of the entire region. He has donated millions to its schools and children. And two years ago, he won Cleveland its first pro sports title in 52 years. That he doesn’t already have a statue is an official jerseys cheap

“Any time I’m in the same breath with the greats,” James said about passing Abdul-Jabbar, “I know you guys hear me say it over and over, it’s just humbling.”