Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving goes up for a shot against the Boston Celtics' Al Horford.
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving goes up for a shot against the Boston Celtics' Al Horford. Tony Dejak

LeBron heaps praise on Cavs teammate

BASKETBALL: King of Cleveland LeBron James has praised the likely successor to his throne after Kyrie Irving's record-breaking display in the Cavaliers' game-four win over Boston.

The Cavs are one win away from setting up a third-straight NBA finals match-up with the Golden State Warriors and ahead of the fifth game in the Eastern Conference Final series in Boston on Friday morning, James said Australian-born Irving was a star performer.

"He's a special talent," James said of Irving, who scored a playoff career-high 42 points in Wednesday's success.

"As the stakes get higher and higher, his game gets higher and higher, but (his performance in game four) was nothing surprising for me.

"He showed why he's one of the best point guards in the league, and he commanded us to be better, especially in the second half."

With his esteemed teammate in foul trouble during the first half, Irving had to step up in game four and James said it came as no surprise.

"He basically was just waiting for an opportunity to be able to blossom," James said.

"I'm just happy and blessed that when I decided to come back that I was able to help him blossom, I guess, because he gets to play in games that he's always been built for.

"He just never had the opportunity because of the team at that point in time.

"I'm happy to be able to sit back with four fouls and see him do what he's always been built to do. He was born for these moments."

News Corp Australia


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