The difference between the Warriors and Cavaliers this season is striking

It will be the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals for the third straight year.

The Boston Celtics are not yet in the same stratosphere as the Cleveland Cavaliers. The 43 points Cleveland scored in the first quarter set a team postseason record for a quarter. While he doesn't have to carry the offensive load with Durant "helping out" this year, the Warriors need Curry present in every game, and not let over physicality, bad defense or a bad shooting day get to him.

Beginning on June 1, we have Round 3 of Warriors vs. Cavaliers.

Unlike the rest of this series, The Cavaliers were given a huge boost off the bench, with the reserves scoring 49 points this game. The trend continued for the first half of Game 4 in which the Celtics went up by as many as 16 points.

On July 4, with a 351-word post on The Players' Tribune, Durant announced he was joining the Warriors.

Avery Bradley led Boston with 23 points.

After breaking their franchise half-time record in the playoffs with 75 points, and an 18 point lead, Lebron made a decision to put himself in the history books as well tonight, passing Michael Jeffrey Jordan as the leading playoff scorer in National Basketball Association history and went on a three point barrage to put an even larger gap between himself and The GOAT.

The Celtics made some noise near the end of the first half, but Irving scored Cleveland's first 11 points in the first 3:18 of the second half before two baskets by James ballooned the lead to 25 with 6:39 left in the third quarter.

James said of the Warriors, "The best team in our league the last three years".

James had come into the contest needing 28 points to pass Jordan - victor of six titles with the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s - for first on the post-season scoring list. Dahntay Jones and veteran James Jones; on the way to his 7th straight NBA Finals, put in solid efforts in the 4th, with Jones throwing the hammer down on a putback slam we haven't seen from him in years.

They beat Washington in seven games, including a Game 2 victory in which Thomas scored 53 points - one shy of the franchise playoff record.

Late in the 4th, Jaylen Brown took a rough fall, and the Cavaliers on the court came over to offer him a hand and help him up, only for their hands to be swatted away and them to look back in shock and awe. Jonas Jerebko and Amir Johnson were cast-offs. The team was clearly frustrated and agitated, yet it was a different sight than what the Cavs had been used to.

The Warriors going undefeated the first three rounds, with coach Steve Kerr debilitated with a spinal condition, shows not only the collective talent Kerr oversees, but the planning Kerr did.

James downplayed the record prior to Game 5.

LeBron James and the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers are headed back to the NBA Finals.

For James, the Finals are an annual rite.

The Celtics played with an edge in game three and that carried over into game four. But it meant little, as Boston never led in any of their home games in the series.

The Boston Celtics are defined by intelligence and organizational excellence.

  • Julie Sanders