The Cleveland Cavaliers, fueled by another milestone night for LeBron James, powered into a third straight NBA Finals meeting with the Golden State Warriors with a dominant 135-102 win over the Celtics in Boston on Thursday.
Despite the challenge, the Cavs lead the Eastern Conference finals 3-1 and can close out the series with a Game 5 win at TD Garden on Thursday.
For the third straight year, it's Cleveland and Golden State in the NBA Finals.
LeBron James scored 35 points to become the NBA's all-time playoff scoring leader - surpassing Michael Jordan.
Led by its Big Three, Cleveland quickly built a 21-point lead in the first quarter, while getting lots of contributions from their teammates.
Said Stevens, "I think we've got a good amount of people that will be back and obviously a strong core with also some exciting opportunities in the draft".More news: Two explosions in Jakarta near bus station; two dead including suspected bomber
The Cavs hadn't lost since Game 4 of last year's Finals, and they came in tied with the 1988-89 Los Angeles "Showtime" Lakers for the longest winning streak in postseason history.
"He's a guy who said he wanted us", Love said, "and he has us - starting next Thursday". Horford's 16-point performance in Game 5 was a quiet one, but if he can to the paint and use his stepback fadeaway shot, he will be hard to stop.
"With Isaiah going down, that's 29 points a game, and now you got to scheme and try to do something for a whole 'nother system", Lue said of Thomas, who actually was averaging 23.3 points in these playoffs.
After Cleveland won their first NBA Championship past year against Golden State, the Cavs will be looking to solidify their careers with a second win in a row. "Plays out of time-out [have been] kind of been killing us and keeping us off balance, but in the second half we kind of got a little bit of rhythm, and think we'll be better in Game 5". "It's tough to say that we didn't expect it; we knew they'd be right there".
Welp, here we bloody go again.
In going 12-0 in the playoffs, the Warriors have outscored their opponents by 196 points while the Warriors have outscored their postseason foes by 177 points in 13 games. It took the flawless storm and some historic play from James and Kyrie Irving to do the improbable past year. He played three halves against the Cavaliers before limping off the court in the middle of Game 2.
I'm not in the right mind to talk about Golden State.
Act III in this trilogy is overloaded with story lines, with the biggest being whether James and Co. have enough firepower to go toe-to-toe with the Warriors, who added superstar Kevin Durant to a team that won 73 games a year ago before its Finals flameout.