"We all need to soak this up".
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. James didn't speak to reporters on Saturday either, leaving Love to serve as the team's unofficial spokesman as the sports world inched closer to a matchup that seemed destined from the moment last season's Finals ended.
James, who also had eight rebounds, eight assists, three steals and a blocked shot, then talked about "the beast of an opponent" that is waiting.
The series will tipoff on June 1st in Oakland California. Cleveland won the three road games in the series by a combined 90 points, the last two by a total of 77. The big star for the Giants that year was future Yankees manager Casey Stengel, who hit an inside-the-park homer in the ninth inning to win Game 1 and drove in the only run in Game 3 with another homer.
James went on to hit two more 3's shortly after, with the third giving him 319 3-pointers to pass Manu Ginobili for third-most all-time in National Basketball Association postseason history.More news: Irving leads Cavs comeback against Celtics
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James spoke Thursday during the morning shootaround before the Cavaliers played the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals. "They just stayed resilient all year, got to the playoffs, and we really stepped our game up", Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said.
He said his goal is not about passing Jordan in titles, points or MVP awards. "I just have to keep going and figure out what I've got do to come back at the highest level possible".
Yet it didn't feel that way at TD Garden, which had more the feeling of an appreciative wake than a funeral.
"We see that the team to get past is Cleveland, and right now we're not there", said Celtics big man Al Horford, who is now 1-15 against James in his postseason career and has been eliminated by James' teams in each of the past three seasons. Injured point guard Isaiah Thomas led his teammates in a pregame huddle before they took the court for warmups, but sat out the rest of the series after aggravating a hip injury in Game 2. "I can't lie", Durant said, when comparing the 2012 Finals trip to this one. But they have faced question marks about their defence all season and are about to face one of the best offences ever assembled. The Cavs are 12-1 in these playoffs, suffering a surprising loss at home to the Boston Celtics in Game 3 of their series. It's just that the data doesn't like his chances - BPI gives the Warriors a 28 percent chance to finish the ideal playoff run with a four-game sweep, and the Cavaliers only a six percent chance of repeating as National Basketball Association champions.
"I felt like we came a long ways from the beginning of the year".