Final: Cavaliers 112, Celtics 99

  • Final: Cavaliers 112, Celtics 99

Final: Cavaliers 112, Celtics 99

Everybody knows the conference finals are just a tune up for the Cavs' inevitable - or as conspiracy theorists call it, "pre-ordained" - rematch with Golden State for the championship belt.

The Warriors are not a group given to bold predictions - well, Green is, but he's the outlier - and they are more cheeky than brash. He also rolled an ankle on a drive and bucket with 1:47 left in the third but was able to stay in the game. "Right now we are going to enjoy this and we will think about the Warriors tomorrow". Two years later in the 1987 Finals, Johnson's Lakers would win the third and final meeting between the teams in six games. Cleveland won by one on Christmas Day, Golden State prevailed by 35 on January 16. Cleveland, which seemed sleepy at times in the regular season, went 12-1 in the Eastern Conference playoffs that ended with a win over Boston on Thursday night. That jibed with comments James made in December, when he said of Jordan, "He was much more of a scorer", adding, "You recognize the dominance that someone had. but there's no similarities in our game, at all".

Deron Williams, who had been quiet for most of the series, also got in on the act with a series-best 14 points for Cleveland. So you have to appreciate it. ...

Lue said Saturday that he expects each team to continue to try to one up the other. Countered Golden State acting coach Mike Brown, when asked about it Thursday: "That's his opinion". It's the chance for a little payback after his team blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals last season.

The Cavs have been locked in on their East foes, game planning for the Indiana Pacers, Toronto Raptors and Celtics, understanding the need to take care of those teams first before preparations can begin for the Warriors. The only two other clubs with positive margins of victory are Houston and San Antonio at 1.2 and 1.0, respectively. "They will play hard together on and off the court". Obviously, adding an MVP to a team that already has a two-time MVP, that makes them even more impressive. We're not going to give it to them, and stuff like that. "We have to be ready for the challenge".

On the topic of age, the fact that James entered the National Basketball Association right out of high school, and played at an All-Star level nearly right away, is his biggest advantage over his historical competition.

The Celtics pulled off the improbable comeback upset in Game 3 before Kyrie Irving and James combined to bring the defending champions back from 16 points down to win Game 4 Tuesday night. (President of basketball operations) Danny (Ainge) was right there, I couldn't get past him.

They'll collide again, starting next week. Boston won the first matchup in 1984, but the Lakers would even things up the following year. Isaiah (Thomas) goes down and they're running a totally different offense than we prepared for so it's been tough on us.

Irving scored 12 points in the quarter with James on the bench to save Cleveland from a blowout. "We have a bigger goal in mind". Can James win his fourth ring? "They've been right at the top, best team in the league for three years straight now".

"Us and Cleveland worked our butts off all year to put ourselves in position to be playing for a championship, and the league is as strong talent-wise across the board as it's ever been", Curry told reporters. "He's a guy who said he wanted us, and he has us starting next Thursday and you know he's a guy who brings it every single night, so now with the way the Finals went down past year if I were in his shoes, I would want the same thing". However, things seemed to take a bad turn for Golden State when Draymond Green - one of their best defenders - was suspended for Game 5.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) looks to pass around Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley (0) during the third quarter of game five of the Eastern conference finals of the NBA Playoffs at TD Garden.