Cavs dig deep, take 3-1 series lead

He is an elite lockdown defender that would significantly help slow down LeBron James. Irving finished with 24 points with seven assists and made 4-of-8 three-point shots.

For Boston, guard Avery Bradley was the only player to get anything going, with most of his 23 points coming in the first half.

The 32-year-old James, who is seeking a fourth National Basketball Association title, took 212 post-season games to surpass Jordan, a six-time champion who played 179 playoff games.

James, who also ranks in the top 10 in playoff rebounds (seventh), playoff assists (third) and playoff steals (second), did not emphasize the points any more than the other manner in which he impacts the game. Eight months of struggles, successes, frustrating defeats and euphoric victories that brought them to the conference finals, which is where their season came to an end.

The Cavaliers closed up the Celtics on Thursday night, setting up the long-awaited, next chapter of their trilogy with the awaiting Warriors, who swept through the Spurs to clinch their spot in The Finals three days back.

If you loved the last two NBA Finals, you'll love this year's.

The Cavs outscored Boston 43-27 in the first quarter to take complete control of game five.

The Cavaliers set a team playoff record for points in a half and lead the Celtics 75-57.

"I've had ups, I've had downs, I've had opportunities, I've had mistakes", said Brown. The Finals don't start until Thursday, June 1, so both sides should be fresh when they take the floor.

LeBron James scored 35 points on an absurdly efficient 13-for-18 shooting, and almost hit a triple double with eight each in assists and rebounds, and didn't return for the garbage time fourth.

Even after stealing a stunning Game 3, the Celtics were outscored by 100 points during the series.

Most of the starters came out of the game with eight minutes left and the Cavaliers up 39 points, 115-76.

The three-pointer put the Cavaliers up by 32 points.

As the game ended, the crowd gave the Celtics a standing ovation amidst "Let's Go Celtics" chants.

The Celtics did their best to keep up, but the consistent outside shooting, bench scoring and defense they relied on to stun Cleveland in Game 3 wasn't there Thursday night.

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