LeBron James Tops NBA's All-Time Playoff Scoring List, Cavs Beat Celtics

Solenn Plantier
Mai 29, 2017

Two trains, three time zones apart, are traveling 150 miles per hour in opposite directions.

Golden State led the league with 67 wins this season and is a staggering 27-1 in its last 28 games including a ideal 12-0 in the Western Conference playoffs, the first time a team has gone this deep into an National Basketball Association postseason without losing.

Kyrie Irving took over in the second half and finished with 42 points, LeBron James added 34 and the Cleveland Cavaliers moved within one win of an nearly inevitable third date in the Finals with Golden State by rallying to beat the Boston Celtics 112-99 on Tuesday night in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals. Now they meet for the rubber match starting June 1 in Oakland. This could be the Thrilla in Manila - the third bout Ali-Frazier fought on October 1, 1975 - times seven. How will Golden State guard Kyrie Irving? The Warriors were 67-15 compared to Cleveland finishing 51-31. This has brought up discussions of competitive balance - we have seen the same Finals three years in a row, and we will nearly certainly head into next season expecting a fourth. Just ask the Celtics.

Kyrie Irving struggled with his shot in the playoffs before the Eastern Conference Finals. The Cavs won, 117-104, and 130-86 in Boston before completing the demolition of TD Garden on May 25.

More germane to the present, the Cavs officially rebounded from their out-of-character Game 3 loss and their shaky first half in Game 4 with a game of vicious execution and momentum.

With Cleveland in jeopardy of dropping its second game in a row after James followed an 11-point Game 3 debacle by picking up four first-half fouls, Irving put on a breathtaking one-man show. He says surgery is "not the No. 1 option right now". Then he got right back to the destroying the Celtics.

Cavaliers: The 42 points were a career playoff-high for Irving, who scored 41 in Game 5 of last year's Finals.

Four Cavaliers were in double figures by halftime.

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.

The Cavaliers left The Q after winning Game 4 on May 23 determined to play well defensively for 48 minutes in Game 5, and that is what they did.

These teams that have spent much of the post-merger days near the bottom of the standings were the cream of the crop in the 1950s led by star quarterback Graham and innovative coach Paul Brown in Cleveland and Lions Hall of Fame passer Layne and running back Doak Walker. Irving hit 15 of his 22 shots on the night. The Cavaliers were plus-43 when he was on the floor.

LeBron stuck to that theme in his postgame press conference.

Durant's decision to leave the Thunder for Golden State as a free agent last summer meant the Warriors went from mere overwhelming favorites to win the West again to super-duper-overwhelming favorites to win the West again.

Sometimes what seems like it should be a great pitching duel turns into a 9-7 blowout.

In 2016, it looked like everything was going the Warriors' way.

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