Boston managed to pull off a surprise victory in Game 3 of the series, but was unable to contain an occasionally historic display of shooting from Cleveland, who now advance to the NBA Finals to play the Golden State Warriors for the third year in a row. Nobody talks about the record-setting regular season, or the fact that the the Warriors beat the Bulls record for most wins in a 3-season span. Athletes are on their phones all the time now, and Golden State players are inundated daily with a drumbeat of 3-1.
LeBron James surpassed Michael Jordan to become the highest points scorer in National Basketball Association play-off history as the Cleveland Cavaliers reached the finals for a third successive year. In this season's playoffs leading up to Game 5 against Boston, James averaged 32.2 points and shot 55.4% from the field, including 40.6% on threes, in 12 games. Irving was able to stay on the floor and finish the game, scoring a career playoff-high 42 points.
The Cavs overcame deficits as large as 16 points in the second quarter and 10 points at halftime to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
While the Warriors have posted a flawless 12-0 record in the playoffs this season, the Cavs have almost matched them.
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. "But nobody's going to feel sorry for me".
While the 2017 NBA Playoffs have been largely a snooze up to this point, the 2017 NBA Finals looks to be a television spectacular for however long this series goes, hopefully a full seven games like past year. 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.
"When you're growing up and you're seeing Michael Jordan, it's nearly like a god, so I didn't ever believe I could be Mike", James said.More news: Cavaliers roll into NBA Finals, LeBron breaks Jordan's playoff scoring record
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It will be James' seventh straight trip to The Finals and eighth overall.
Before Game 5, James said when he passes Jordan he will cherish the honor, but the category does not define who he is as a player.
As it is, the closest active players to him - Tony Parker (4,012), Dwyane Wade (3,871), Dirk Nowitzki (3,663) and Manu Ginobili (3,009) - are all nearing the end of their careers, and they aren't all that close to begin with. Same for Michael Jordan and Karl Malone or Jerry West and Bill Russell.
James reached the scoring mark in his 212th game.
James finished the game with 35 points, eight rebounds and eight assists to lead the Cavs. But I do think that, again, I don't think you should have any excuses with who's available and who's not.
James was eager to break down film of the game on Monday, but he was able to recall much of what Boston did right. The Warriors won all six of their 2017 National Basketball Association playoff games at home.
The win sets up a third consecutive match-up with Western Conference champion Golden State in the Finals. I fell in love with the game because of Mike.
Coach Tyronn Lue said they've gotten tighter this season.