LeBron James is set to play in his biggest game since rejoining the Cleveland Cavaliers, as the No.2 seed in the Eastern Conference looks to avoid a 3-1 deficit in their second-round playoff series. The Cavs visit the Chicago Bulls for Game 4, after losing the previous contest on a buzzer-beater by Derrick Rose.
The NBA’s top player will need more help than he’s been getting if the Cavs hope to even up the series. James is leading Cleveland in points, assists, rebounds and steals this postseason. Kryie Irving had no assists in Friday’s loss, and he’s currently playing hurt.
“I tried to stay out there, use myself as a decoy at the end, whether it’s setting screens, getting steals, do whatever it took,” Irving said after Game 3. “I was just going to lay it out there on the line. We started out the game, I tried a right-hand drive, I came off it [funny] … just little plays, the acceleration like that … just got to continue to get treatment, come into Game 4 and be ready to play.”
Irving will play on Sunday, despite his foot injury. Kevin Love is out for the rest of the playoffs with a shoulder injury, and James hasn’t shot well this series. He made just eight of his 25 field goal attempts in Game 3, and he’s shooting 39.5 percent from the field through three games.
The Bulls are dealing with injuries of their own. Pau Gasol only played 22 minutes on Friday because of a hamstring injury, and he could miss Game 4. Taj Gibson and Nikola Mirotic combined to play 45 minutes in the Game 3 win, and they might have to pick up the slack on Sunday afternoon.
Even though the Cavaliers are banged up and they're playing the Bulls on the road, they are favored to win Game 4. However, now that Chicago has the series lead and has home-court advantage, they are favored to represent the East in the NBA Finals.
Start Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
TV Channel: ABC
Online Stream: WatchESPN
Bettings Odds: Cleveland-2.5, 194.5
Prediction: Cleveland 100, Chicago 91