Cavaliers roll into NBA Finals, LeBron breaks Jordan's playoff scoring record


[Thomas] is going to come back healthy.

Cleveland leads Boston 3-1 and can wrap up its third straight Eastern Conference title Thursday night. The Cavs wore their black jerseys in Game 7 when they clinched the title last season. Playing without the injured Pau Gasol, the Bulls had a chance to take a 3-1 lead at home against a Cavaliers team with a hobbled Kyrie Irving.

Led by its Big Three, Cleveland quickly built a 21-point lead in the first quarter, while getting lots of contributions from their teammates.

Kyrie Irving backed up his massive game four with 24 points and seven assists, while Kevin Love had a double-double, adding 11 boards to his 15 points.

If it wasn't James attacking the lane and drawing fouls, it was Deron Williams, whose 14-point first half was six more points than he'd contributed throughout the first four games of the series combined. All great quarterbacks. You know, and it should be the same for us.

Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving (2) drives against Boston.

James went on to revisit a point he first made when he joined Oscar Robertson as the only other player in league history to rank in the top 25 in all-time scoring and all-time assists: the discussion of the greatest diminishes the value of all the greats.

James, who shot 13 of 18 from the floor and 4 of 7 from 3-point range, hit a 3-pointer with 2:41 left in the third quarter to pass Michael Jordan and become the NBA's all-time leading playoff scorer. Irving just continues to cook up Boston, especially in the second half.

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He added: "Our love and support goes out to Isaiah".

Just as Jordan foiled so many strong teams during the dynasty years - the Lenny Wilkens-coached Cavaliers, the Jerry Sloan-coached Jazz - James is doing the same now.

Amir Johnson and Jae Crowder are probable while Jaylen Brown is questionable. The team was clearly frustrated and agitated, yet it was a different sight than what the Cavs had been used to. "I can't really worry about what those guys are going to do, I can just worry about what I can do and get better to help this team if I'm here". Be honest, you didn't think the Celtics would be playing another game in the TD Garden again this season.

A win for Cleveland would give James his seventh straight trip to the NBA Finals, going back to the 2010-2011 season when he was a member of the Miami Heat and the third straight with Cleveland.

It just may be that while James is the best player in the Eastern Conference, Irving is the second-best. 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. He watched Game 5 in street clothes.

Buried in all the feel-good happy talk directed at the Celtics is the taint of a harsh reality.

Then, after spending much of his free time flying cross-country to be with his family, Thomas had a tooth knocked out in Game 1 of the conference semifinals against Washington.