James passes Jordan; Cavs back in Finals

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Cleveland's 4-1 series' win gives it a 12-1 record this postseason and sets up a third consecutive matchup with Western Conference champion Golden State, the team it beat in the Finals last season to claim the franchise's first championship.

"I'm going to be honest", James told reporters in Boston on Thursday night, "I'm not in the right mind to even talk about Golden State".

The Cavaliers won 12 of 13 games against the Eastern Conference in the playoffs, with all four of their wins over the Boston Celtics in the conference finals coming by at least 13 points. Cleveland won the 2016 after Golden State prevailed in 2015. "We have to be ready for the challenge". The Thunder lost to Miami in five games, a series that made James a champion for the first time. I wouldn't say so, because at moments like this, when they needed a basket or a bucket, who do you really go to on a consistent basis?

"Hopefully", James said that night, "I don't continue to have to run into him".

It will mark the seventh straight trip to the NBA Finals for James, who hit a three-pointer late in the third quarter to nudge past Jordan on the playoff scoring list.

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The Cavs" "Big Three' were strongly backed by their reserves.

He said though he's disappointed with how the season ended, he's encouraged that no one in Boston's locker room is satisfied just making it to the conference finals. Can James win his fourth ring? "I went when I was 23 years old, and it felt like the Western Conference Finals was nearly like the championship".

In looking to successfully defend their title, the Cavs will also be relying heavily on Kyrie Irving, whose 42-point performance with LeBron in foul trouble in Game 4 may have stopped Boston from tying the series, and Kevin Love, who has become the most surprisingly reliable 3-and-D pillar of these playoffs.

Golden State led the league with a 67-15 record this season and is 27-1 in its last 28 games, including the playoffs. So it's a little different now, obviously. Will they become the first team in National Basketball Association history to go undefeated in a postseason? Celtics G Avery Bradley on the team's first home game since the Game 2 Cleveland blowout, said, "We owe our fans a better performance.".

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