Golden State Warriors await the Cavaliers in the Finals for the third year in a row.
It was a muted celebration in a road game, with the James three-pointer putting the defending National Basketball Association champion Cavs up by 32 points.
The argument is valid that the conference was much more competitive from 2010-2013 than the last three seasons.
Game 1 will be at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California on Thursday, June 1 at 9:00 p.m. E.T. The entire NBA Finals will be televised on ABC.
The Warriors were back in the NBA Finals, and they had a 3-1 lead against the Cavaliers, the same team they defeated for the championship the previous year.
“[We] went through some tough times in the regular season, but we knew we had confidence to be great”, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. Miami was pushed to a Game 7 twice in the conference finals, by Boston in 2012 and in in 2013.
INSKEEP: That gave LeBron James 5,989 career points in the playoffs, two more than Michael Jordan, the most all time. Green missed Game 5 due to a suspension (Love only scored two points in that game anyway), and when Green came back James and Tristan Thompson guarded him. So, this team, I love this team and I don’t think anybody in this organization would think this team is better without me. It has nothing to do with passing the rings, passing the points, passing MVPs.
He did it with a three-pointer late in the third quarter-the first of a string of three straight from beyond the arc. The David Blatt-led Cavs were a shell of themselves, though, without Kevin Love for the entirety of the series and Kyrie Irving for the final five games.
Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas wanted to keep playing in the Eastern Conference finals, but team doctors and officials convinced him he needed to shut down his season for his long-term health.
“I’ve only seen one (doctor) but we’ve sent the information to a few of them”, he said. “The team to get past is Cleveland, and right now we’re not there”.
Aside from a Game 3 upset after losing Thomas to a hip injury, the Celtics lost by margins of 13, 44, 13, and 33 points.
“I leave with a little bit of a bad taste in my mouth not playing as well here, and man you want to play well here”, said an emotional Celtics coach Brad Stevens, who earned his first two playoff series wins this year.
“(Surgery is) not the number one option right now, but it could be once the swelling goes down”, Thomas said. “I’m glad we prevailed, but they tested us every step of the way”.
Led by their Big Three, Cleveland quickly built a 21-point lead in the first quarter, while getting lots of contributions from their teammates. It soon grew to 32 and then to 35 by the end of the quarter. They finished 19-for-41 from 3-point range, with James and Irving each hitting four.
“I’ve always told you guys, anytime I’m linked to any of the greats, even the greatest in Mike, it’s just an honour”, James told reporters Thursday morning with the milestone looming.
“We need the best possible player that’s gonna help us win, and I’m with that”, Thomas said, via ESPN.
It was no match Thursday night in Game 5 with the Cavs coasting from start to finish and winning 135-102 at the TD Garden.
So why is the National Basketball Association so top-heavy that it can’t deliver playoffs with any real drama?
But the Cavaliers superstar says his pursuit is about leaving a legacy to motivate the next generation of players.
“They had multiple people come in and talk to me about what’s more important”, Thomas said Friday, a day after the Celtics were eliminated by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Bill Russell holds the record of appearing in 10 consecutive Finals.