Celtics vs. Cavaliers score, highlights, takeaways: Boston takes commanding 3-1 lead after Game 4 win

The Boston Celtics took care of business on Monday in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference semifinals matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers with a 109-102 win. Boston, who has the top seed in the East, now owns a commanding 3-1 lead. The Cavs tried valiantly to protect home court and even up the series, but the Celtics were simply too much down the stretch. 

The duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown led the way for the Celtics, with Tatum dropping 33 points to go along with 11 rebounds and five assists. Brown contributed 27 points on 9-of-15 shooting. Boston was also helped by 11 points from Payton Pritchard off the bench. 

Ahead of tipoff, the Cavs learned that they would be without their best player Donovan Mitchell. He was ruled out with a calf injury, and as Cleveland's leading scorer, he was just too valuable to replace on short notice. Darius Garland contributed 30 points, and Caris LeVert, who was inserted into the starting lineup, added 19, though he went 1-for-8 from 3-point range. 

Prior to Monday's win, the Celtics bounced back from a Game 2 blowout loss with a road win in Game 3 as Brown and Tatum combined for 61 points on Saturday night. Now, following the win, the Celtics are in prime position to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. Game 5 will happen on Wednesday. 

Cavaliers vs. Celtics: Game 4 score

Celtics 109, Cavaliers 102 (BOS leads series 3-1) 

CBS Sports provided live updates, highlights and analysis from Game 4. Follow along below.

Here are some key takeaways from the game:

Tatum and Brown deliver again

Jayson Tatum's performance in Game 3 was the major storyline because he finally had a big scoring night this postseason with 33 points, but the Celtics would not have won that game without an efficient shooting from Jaylen Brown, who shot 13-of-17 from the field that night. 

On Monday night, the Celtics used the same formula. Tatum led the way with 33 points, 11 rebounds and five assists for his 12th career 30/10/5 game in the playoffs -- eighth most in NBA history -- and Brown had his back with 27 points on 9-of-15. 

This was the 15th time that they have both scored at least 25 points in a playoff game. When those two both have their offense going, the Celtics are extremely difficult to beat, and that is even more true this season with their improved supporting cast. 

Holiday comes to play

Jrue Holiday has a title to his name, but he hasn't always been the most consistent playoff performer. The best version of Holiday was in action on Monday, however, as he made an impact in every aspect of the game and showed exactly why the Celtics were eager to acquire him in the offseason. 

He finished with 16 points, seven rebounds, five assists, three steals and a block, hit four 3-pointers and shot 6-of-11 from the field. In the second half, his defensive pressure at the point of attack was a key factor as the Celtics created some much-needed separation. 

"He's starting to be more aggressive on the offensive," Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla said. "When he's aggressive, both him, Derrick, and our bench we're a different team."

Including the playoffs, the Celtics are now 22-1 when Holiday scores at least 15 points. 

Cavaliers don't have enough without Mitchell

Donovan Mitchell has been carrying the Cavaliers on offense throughout the playoffs. Prior to Game 4, he had scored over 30% of their total points, and was the only healthy player on the team averaging more than 15 per game. When he was ruled out with a calf strain, everyone expected the Cavaliers would lose because they would not be able to keep up with the Celtics' high-powered offense. 

While that wasn't the case in the first half, when they caught fire from downtown and made 11 3-pointers, it eventually proved to be true down the stretch. They managed just 45 points on 45 shots in the second half, and were 4-of-23 from behind the arc. Even though the Celtics didn't shoot the ball well either after the break, the Cavaliers were unable to make them pay. 

It's unclear if Mitchell, or Jarrett Allen, will be available for Game 5 on Wednesday. If not, it's going to be even more difficult for the Cavaliers to hang around on the road, where their role players will likely not play as well as they did in Cleveland. 

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FINAL: Celtics 109 -- Cavaliers 102

As expected, the Celtics defeated the Cavaliers -- playing without Donovan Mitchell and Jarrett Allen -- in Game 4 on Monday to take a 3-1 lead in their second-round series. No one expected the game to be quite this close, however. This was the first Celtics game decided by single digits in the playoffs. 

The Celtics' formula was almost identical to Game 3, as Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown led the way and got a big boost from Jrue Holiday. Tatum finished with 33 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, while Brown went for 27 points on 9-of-15 from the field. Holiday, meanwhile, added 16 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals.

Coming into the game, it seemed the Cavaliers' best chance was to fire away from 3-point land and hope for a hot night, and that's exacty what happened in the first half, as they made 11 3-pointers. They only made four in the second half, though, which was a major reason they fell short. 

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Third quarter: Celtics 88 -- Cavaliers 78

The Cavaliers briefly retook the lead in the third quarter, but the Celtics took control over the final few minutes to take a double-digit lead into the fourth. Jaylen Brown stepped up his scoring to get to 20 points for the night, and Payton Pritchard hit a big 3-pointer in the waning seconds to make it a 10-point game. Do the Cavaliers have another run in them? 

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Halftime: Celtics 62 -- Cavaliers 57

The Cavaliers' hot 3-point shooting has not relented, and they are within five points at the break thanks to 11 3-pointers, which is their high for any half this postseason. Max Strus is 5-of-6 from downtown, and five different Cavs have made at least one. 

Jayson Tatum is leading the way for the Celtics with a game-high 23 points, five rebounds and three assists. The Celtics are shooting 60% from the field, but they've turned it over 10 times, which is why, along with the Cavs' 3-point shooting, they're only up by five. 

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First quarter: Celtics 37 -- Cavaliers 30

In a bit of a surprise, offense has not been a problem for the Cavaliers without Donovan Mitchell and Jarrett Allen. They went 6-of-9 from 3-point land for one of their best shooting quarters of the entire postseason. Unfortunately for them, they're still down by seven at the end of the first. Jayson Tatum has 16 points to lead all scorers and the Celtics are shooting 66.7% from the field. 

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LeBron back in Cleveland

A special guest is in the building for Game 4: LeBron James. His season came to an end when the Los Angeles Lakers were eliminated in the first round by the Denver Nuggets. With no basketball to play, he decided to come back home to check out his former team. 

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Mitchell out for Game 4

In a huge blow to the Cavaliers, Donovan Mitchell will miss Game 4 with a calf injury, per ESPN. Mitchell missed shootaround earlier today, but had not previously missed a game in the series.

This is a brutal blow for the Cavs, who were already big underdogs in the series. Mitchell has been their best player and catalyst throughout the regular season and playoffs. He's shooting 51.5% from the floor and 53.3% from behind the arc in the series. The Cavs have made 36 3-pointers against the Celtics, and Mitchell has made 16 of them.