Cavs beat Celtics to earn NBA Finals rematch with Warriors

The Cleveland Cavaliers moved into the NBA Finals for the third straight season after crushing the Boston Celtics on Thursday.

The Cavs also set an National Basketball Association record for consecutive wins in closeout games with 13 in a row dating to 2009.

Cleveland, stunned by Boston in Game 3 after romping two blowout wins in the opening two games of the Eastern Conference series, looked to be heading for another shock as the Celtics dominated the first half. Kyrie Irving would go on to have a career playoff night with 42 points, with James adding 34 as Cleveland rallied back in the second half for a 112-99 victory Tuesday.

General manager Bob Myers reiterated Thursday that Kerr is not yet ready to coach in games. They finished 19 of 41 Thursday.

LeBron James, who will make his seventh-straight trip to the NBA Finals, led all scorers with 35 points.

While Irving's scoring ignited the Cavs' comeback, it was made possible thanks to Cleveland's defensive effort over the final 24 minutes.

Two years ago, the Celtics were just lucky to be on the floor with the Cavaliers who had no problem sweeping them out of the postseason.

"We can not come back to Boston 2-2", Irving said Thursday after the Cavs closed out the series. "We have to execute offensively. If I'm not scoring the ball, how can I still make an impact on the game?" "The fans at the end of the game - man, it's just unbelievable".

Everyone will have one eye on Irving's left ankle.

But it was Irving who was the undeniable star of the show for his spellbinding third quarter masterpiece that transformed the game.

Although the Celtics will be playing in front of their home crowd, the situation is still less than ideal.

They've given themselves a chance to erase the sting of their 44-point loss in Game 2. He was later pronounced out for the remainder of the postseason.

Brown is the latest Celtics player to battle a hip ailment.

It's an indication that despite still being in a dire 3-1 hole, the resolve inside Boston's locker room remains strong. The Celtics are built to build some more.

"So when you have a team like that, you're going to miss the guys that aren't back, whoever that may be". "They just stayed resilient all year, got to the playoffs, and we really stepped our game up". I think we had our first practice eight months ago tomorrow. "As much as you want to, it's not over", he said. "I know toward the end of the season there were some rough patches". "I think I fell in love with the game because of Mike, just because of what he was able to accomplish". With that said, it might be in Boston's best interest to take the long approach. (Terry) Rozier is tough, Avery is tough, (Marcus) Smart's tough. Any trepidation anyone may have had about Kevin Durant meshing with the impeccably fluid Golden State offense died as quickly as most Silicon Valley startups, as he has displayed obvious added value by optimizing their style.

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