Lue: Cavs' Irving feeling 'good' after Game 4 ankle injury

The Cleveland Cavaliers are a flawless 6-0 straight up and 4-0-2 against the spread in six road games so far this postseason.

As good as he was on the court, the Celtics have to be kicking themselves for not doing more with the time James on the bench in the second quarter which in hindsight, was among the bigger factors in them now returning home facing elimination as opposed to being tied at two games apiece in this series. Coach Tyronn Lue had no choice but to put him on the bench for the rest of the half. The Celtics have an important offseason ahead of them, including the first overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, so it may just be best to end it all now and get moving onto next year.

Although the Celtics were without their first point guard, and the biggest star Isaiah Thomas, who is injured and who is going to miss the rest of the season, the boys from MA could shock the reigning champions once more after the previous game.

The Q crowd was uneasy.

There has been little doubt since the start of the playoffs that the Warriors and Cavs would meet in June for a third consecutive year.

"We got to the locker room at halftime and said, 'We have to respect these guys, ' " Kevin Love said. So they had to kind of reshape, and that's the beauty of having Brad Stevens as your coach.

"They run different things just because of [Isaiah Thomas] being a huge piece of the puzzle for them offensively".

And that was when adversity blinked.

Capsule preview of the Warriors-Cavaliers NBA Finals matchup
Oklahoma City was tops in the West in FG shooting defense, while the Pacers were best in the National Basketball Association . The NBA website (NBA.Com) notes “no team has made more 3-pointers than Cleveland with a play-off average of 14.6 pts. a game.

The Cleveland Cavaliers advanced to the NBA Finals last night with token opposition from the Celtics.

That was reality for the title holders Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday, as Irving set a career play-off high with 42 points in their 112-99 win over the Boston Celtics.

And Irving proved that he can carry this Cavs team when LeBron struggles.

The most noteworthy moment of the one-sided affair occurred with 2:40 to play in the third, when James surpassed Michael Jordan as the NBA's all-time playoff scoring leader with a 3-point shot from the left of the key. "The way he's playing, he's deserving of all the credit he's getting", Irving said before listing some of the Celtics who shone in Thomas' absence. But even playing the second half with four fouls, James totaled 34 points, five rebounds and six assists while shooting 15-for-27 from the field. When his 3-pointer splashed with a half-second left in the quarter, the Cavs led 87-80. He did not foul.

Cleveland missed 13 of the 19 shots it attempted in the first quarter, but finished hitting 38 of their final 55 attempts (69.1 percent).

Game 1 is in Oakland on June 2 (Manila time).

The Cavaliers outscored the Celtics 65-42 in the second half, thanks to Irving's playoff career high in points. He was with the Miami Heat, if that's any indication just how long it's been.

The Cavaliers broke the spirits of the Celtics. Boston does well when their backs are against the wall and Game 5 is no exception. They learned that lesson in Game 3.