James, Cavs KO Celts, set up rematch vs. Warriors

LeBron needed 28 points to top Michael Jordan's mark of 5,987 playoff points scored, and dropped 35 (13-of-18 from the field) on Boston.

After routinely discussing the Warriors during the 2015-16 season after losing to them in the 2015 Finals, the Warriors were not a common topic around the team over the past several months.

The Warriors appeared to be in the position to win back-to-back championships as they were on the verge of holding a 3-1 lead over the Cavaliers.

According to ESPN, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has Golden State as a -260 favorite, with Cleveland at +220. It's LeBron's 7th straight NBA Finals, a feat only accomplished by Bill Russell.

Now in 2017, the Cavs are going to the Finals for their third straight year and are defending National Basketball Association champions.

Deron Williams, who had been quiet for most of the series, also got in on the act with a series-best 14 points for Cleveland. Just getting to that point, you know how hard it is and how much work you put in to start the season. That tie with 10:45 to play in the first quarter was as good as it would get for the overmatched Celtics - who found themselves down 10with just under eight minutes to play in the period and trailed by as many as 21 before they could escape the quarter.

As they did throughout the series, the Cavs stars worked together in fire-breathing tandem on Thursday.

"I told our guys: 'We made a lot of great strides, but this pain is part of the path to what we ultimately want to be, '" he said. And the Cleveland Cavalier's frontman couldn't hide his excitement after the game. They were done by the end of the third quarter on this night but they still scored or assisted on 34 of the team's 38 baskets while in the game.

Despite a series-altering loss two days later, the Celtics continued to battle and earned high praise from across the association, including Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue.

Of course, one might say that the Spurs finally found a way to make the Warriors flinch or think, until Kawhi Leonard injured his ankle.

Game one of the NBA Finals takes place at the Warriors' Oracle Arena in Oakland on Thursday, 1 June (02:00 BST on Friday). But, many people are focusing on the pitfalls of Lebron James, and his struggles in back-to-back games, rather than focusing on Irving's heroic performance.But they are different, and that counts for something as they try to stave off elimination from the Eastern Conference finals in Game 5 tonight.

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