Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors - 6/1/17 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

With victory in the bag, he sat out the fourth quarter as the Cavaliers routed the Celtics 135-102 to clinch the best-of-seven series 4-1, and set up a third successive championship series against the Golden State Warriors.

James spoke Thursday during the morning shootaround before the Cavaliers play the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.

"I wear the number because of Mike", No. 23 said after the game. "I think I fell in love with the game because of Mike, just seeing what he was able to accomplish".

"Same thing was true with the Bowie-Olajuwon-Jordan draft, and that was years before that", said former NBA Commissioner David Stern, recalling more of Portland's painful past, when the Blazers took oft-injured center Sam Bowie at No. 2 in between Hall of Famers Hakeem Olajuwon and Michael Jordan in 1984.

"Honestly, I don't really care who we play", Lacob said, per The Mercury News, after the Warriors swept the Spurs.

As pundits parsed the stats showing Jordan achieved his 5,987 playoff points in 179 post-season games while James reached 5,995 in his 212th post-season contest, James dismissed such conversations as "barbershop" debates.

King James has another throne. "Now we can start focusing on Golden State to get ready".

"We're definitely disappointed. I feel like if we weren't, there would be a problem", he said.

Cleveland came through the East by winning 12 of their 13 games and will look to defend their title against the Warriors, who were a flawless 12-0 as they came through the Western Conference play-offs.

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James closed it with 15 points in the fourth, including a 3-pointer with 3:52 remaining for a 106-97 lead. The matchup that most all had predicted before the season's first shot is now just a Cleveland win away.

With the unblemished Warriors waiting, James opted to douse them in accolades rather than cast any barbs.

Boston Celtics All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas says he must wait until the swelling subsides in his injured right hip before determining his rehabilitation plan but noted that surgery is not now the top option.

Before the game was over, James had broken the NBA's all-time playoff scoring list - racking up a career postseason total of 5,995 points and bumping His Airness Michael Jordan down to No. 2.

This is the first time the same two teams have faced off in three consecutive NBA Finals, and it's the matchup that most NBA fans - and Warriors majority owner Joe Lacob - wanted. In 34 minutes of action, James finished with 35 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

"The comparison of always trying to compare people, either living or still playing or not playing - I think it's great for barbershops".

Game one of the NBA Finals takes place at the Warriors' Oracle Arena in Oakland on Thursday, 1 June (02:00 BST on Friday). 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.

"I'm going to be honest, I'm not in the right mind to even talk about Golden State", James told ESPN.

"We've got a long way to go", Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. So it makes it even more hard. "That's all I can give you right now". Over the course of the next nine years, Durant propelled a talented team with other players of a similar caliber - James Harden for three years, Russell Westbrook for eight - to the cusp of ultimate greatness.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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