Cavaliers set franchise playoff record for points in a half

Irving took over in the second half and finished with 42 points despite playing on a tender ankle, LeBron James added 34 and the Cleveland Cavaliers moved within one win of an nearly inevitable third date in the NBA Finals with Golden State by rallying to beat Boston 112-99 on Tuesday night in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals.

The Cavs made sure of that on May 25 in Boston by punishing the Celtics, 135-102 to win the Eastern Conference finals four games to one.

Kyrie Irving #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers shoots against Al Horford #42 of the Boston Celtics late in the third quarter during Game 4 of the 2017 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on May 23, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. It spurred the most intense frenzy surrounding an National Basketball Association free agent decision since James announced in 2014 that he would return to the Cavaliers after spending four seasons with the Miami Heat.

The Cavaliers have advanced to their third straight NBA Finals and LeBron James - and James Jones - are heading to their seventh-straight Finals.

Golden State and Cleveland have cruised through the playoffs with a combined 24-1 record and 18-7 over-under mark.

The last champagne bottle hadn't been popped previous year before the Cavs and Warriors were picked by odds makers to return for a third straight match up with the Warriors pegged as the early favorites.

Crowder and the Celtics are looking forward to going home and redeeming themselves after the blowout losses in Games 1 and 2. It soon grew to 32 and then to 35 by the end of the quarter. I wouldn't say so, because at moments like this, when they needed a basket or a bucket, who do you really go to on a consistent basis? "Cleveland will be very, very tough to beat".

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Both teams dominated throughout the playoffs - the Warriors made history by going an unprecedented 12-0 through three rounds in the Western Conference, while the Cavs lost just one game to the Celtics to cap their dominant run. The Warriors swept through the first 12 games of the postseason with series sweeps over Portland, the Utah Jazz and the San Antonio Spurs. "It's been a high-scoring year throughout". After winning three titles, Jordan then missed the 1994 playoffs due to his first retirement before retiring a second time in 1998 following his sixth and final championship.

This NBA Finals rubber match between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers has been building up for a while. When you're growing up and seeing Michael Jordan, it's nearly like a God. Steve Kerr, who is still experiencing complications from back surgery two years ago, hasn't been on the Warriors' sideline for more than a month.

Thomas, who was involved heavily in Boston's free-agent recruiting process last summer, including traveling with the team to make a pitch to Kevin Durant in the Hamptons, said he hasn't talked potential targets yet with president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. "They can not. We can not go to Boston 2-2 and then it becomes nearly an even series". This was highlighted by his 42-point performance in Game 4, a contest where LeBron had four fouls in the first half for the first time in his career. How could they possibly compete with LeBron James and company without their little big man, who has been able to command the fourth quarter time and time again this year. I think we will use it as fuel, we will use it as motivation, but the idea of playing into it? Tristan Thompson is a beast on the boards, and there actually were Deron Williams and Kyle Korver sightings Thursday. Cleveland won by one on Christmas Day, Golden State prevailed by 35 on January 16.

Coach Tyronn Lue said they've gotten tighter this season.

Golden State has home-court advantage by virtue of the better regular-season record.

"I wear the number because of Mike", James said. They're 5-4 in the postseason so far. Durant is the 7-5 favorite there, Curry is next at 8-5 and James third at 2-1.