James passes Jordan, Cavs back in Finals with 135-102 win

The Penguins will now try to become back-to-back champions when they go up against the Nashville Predators in the Stanley Cup Finals.

But it all evaporated.

With the Cleveland Cavaliers' victory over the Boston Celtics on Thursday, it's official: The Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors will meet in the NBA Finals for the third straight season. Sure, both players were the catalyst on their respective teams and both had an epic No. 2 and great supporting cast, but this hands too much credit (or deficit) to the player for what the team did.

Seats at Oracle went for an average of $497 during these playoffs, as compared with $524 in 2015 and $632 a year ago.

As they celebrated defending their Eastern Conference title Thursday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers weren't ready to focus on defending their National Basketball Association championship.

"We're definitely disappointed. I felt like if we weren't, it would be a problem", Celtics' Avery Bradley said. But then he added this: "OK, maybe a slight preference for Cleveland".

No matter what, you can not count James and his team out of any series, as we learned a year ago.

James is again at the top of his game.

And they're doing this without their head coach.

The Warriors going undefeated the first three rounds, with coach Steve Kerr debilitated with a spinal condition, shows not only the collective talent Kerr oversees, but the planning Kerr did.

Kerr is still involved, albeit donning sweatpants.

An unprecedented Finals trilogy was finally set, and still, James had no interest or energy to engage the topic. "Just day by day", Kerr said to The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears when asked of his plans. Andre Iguodala (2015) and LeBron James (2016) have claimed MVP honors.

Fox News finds itself in unaccustomed spot _ out of first
But it also comes shortly after the firing of star anchor Bill O'Reilly, as Fox is trying to establish a new prime-time lineup. Overall, The Rachel Maddow Show at 9 p.m. has emerged as a ratings juggernaut for MSNBC this year, and especially this month.

James, arguably the premier player in the game, leads a Cavs side that features the sublime talents of Australian-born, but United States loyal, point guard Irving and sharpshooting big man Love.

There are indications they'll stick with consensus No. 1 Markelle Fultz, and if so, they'll have a year to see how Fultz fits with the different combinations of Thomas, Bradley and Smart. "We just kept grinding". Says Love said: "He wanted us, and he has us starting next Thursday". "We all want him to be back".

The Boston Celtics are not yet in the same stratosphere as the Cleveland Cavaliers.

But for the third year in a row, the Cavs enter the NBA Finals as the underdog.

And Cleveland has swept 5-of-6 six first- and second-round series during this period. The first "threematch" - rematch of a rematch - in league history.

It will be LeBron's seventh consecutive trip to The Finals and all it took was another masterful performance at TD Garden.

Just in case the Celtics (or the world) hadn't gotten the message, the Cavs threw out a 43-point first quarter nearly nonchalantly.

With a long 3-pointer late in the third quarter of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers star passed Jordan as the NBA's all-time leading playoff scorer.

Jordan scored 5,987 in his postseason career in 179 games from 1985-2003.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James has moved past Hall of Famer Michael Jordan as the leading scorer in National Basketball Association playoff history. "So I didn't think I could be Mike".

"The biggest thing for me sitting here today after breaking the record is that I did it just being me". "If I'm not scoring the ball, how can I still make an impact on the game?" The No. 1 seed in the East, a grinding seven-game win over the Wizards in the conference semis and 53 regular-season wins.

James still trails Jordan in one key area: titles. No team in the vaunted Western Conference has been able to lay a glove on the Warriors.

  • Regina Holmes