Cavs beat Celtics to earn NBA Finals rematch with Warriors

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 almost inevitable third date in the Finals with Golden State by rallying to beat Boston 112-99 on Tuesday night in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals.

With the loss, the Celtics are eliminated from the postseason, while the Cavaliers advance to take on the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals for a third consecutive season. Only Ray Allen (385) and Reggie Miller (320) have more. Kyrie Irving (24 points, seven assists) and Kevin Love (15 points, 11 rebounds) also had big nights for the Cavs. Not to say that the Celtics will win tonight, with injuries to so many key players, but punters should at least think about placing a bet with the Celtics outright, and then follow-up with a couple of live in play odds to maximize chances.

Everyone will have one eye on Irving's left ankle. With the retirement of Kobe Bryant in 2016, LeBron James and Stephen Curry remain as the league's two breakthrough stars and the two players that get business execs around the league downright giddy about the balance sheet when they pass through town.

The win means James is going to his seventh straight finals and will rematch with the team his Cavs beat to win the National Basketball Association championship a year ago. The Cavs' reserves had no problem preserving the sizeable lead, as the defending champions cruised to a clinching Game 5 victory.

Meanwhile, J.R. Smith and Kyle Korver helped spread out Boston's defenders by connecting on several wide-open scoring opportunities. Cleveland got off to a record-breaking start, scoring 43 points in the first quarter.

Celtics: Never led at home in the series. Held a pregame moment of silence for the victims of the Manchester bombing. The Celtics Head Coach Brad Stevens has the team continuously trying a new plan and roster rotation to try and fill the flaws of Thomas. Here's all the info you need to catch the game Thursday night and find out.

"I told our guys: 'We made a lot of great strides, but this pain is part of the path to what we ultimately want to be, '" he said. They somehow finished second in the East, leading to questions about whether they could truly "flip the switch" come the postseason.

  • Julie Sanders