No surprise: It's Cavs-Warriors in the NBA Finals, again

The operating champion of NBA "Cleveland" for the third consecutive time the championship rings will argue with the "Golden State". Just six other players have made it to at least that many in a row, and they all were part of the Celtics' dynasty, which spanned the 1950s into the 1960s. "We feel like we should be here, and we feel like we should be a championship-contending team". Andre Iguodala (2015) and LeBron James (2016) have claimed MVP honors. All the talk since the injury of Thomas, the Game 3 victory and their Game 4 first half performance, was that the Celtics were better off without Thomas.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens said though he's disappointed with how the season ended, he's encouraged that no one in Boston's locker room is satisfied just making it to the conference finals. Please don't tell me that there's anyone in the National Basketball Association that is more "valuable" to his team. That formula worked well for the semifinals, when they swept the Toronto Raptors, and against the Celtics, with their lone loss coming when James scored 11 points, the fourth-lowest total of his playoff career. Then we come out, we get some tremendous looks, and Kyrie just goes nuts and ends us.

Irving, who shook off a Game 4 twisted ankle, was 9 of 15 from the floor and 4 of 8 from 3-point range.

The Cavaliers destroyed the Celtics by 13 and 44 points in games one and two in Boston. He's going to get a week off before heading into Game 1 of the NBA Finals, but that might not be able to cool James.

Three Ball: The Cavs hit 19-of-41 three-point shots for 46.3 percent. But in playoff elimination games such as this, the Celtics miss an isolation scorer that can give them a basket when necessary.

James promptly knocked down two more three-pointers before the end of the third period.

It is the seventh successive year James has led his team to the finals, with four straight appearances for the Miami Heat preceding his return to Cleveland in 2014.

The key, though, was Irving, who capped his remarkable night with a fake behind-the-back pass - Boston's Jae Crowder bit on the play like a dog whose owner had fake-tossed a stick - and left-handed layup.

It's on to Golden State! "It's cute.". The Cavaliers' 43 points in the first quarter made them the first playoff team since the 1990 Celtics with three 40-point quarters against the same team. Held a pregame moment of silence for the victims of the Manchester bombing.

  • Julie Sanders