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National Basketball Association roundup: Cavaliers down Celtics, take 3-1 series lead

James has won three titles and is desperate to cement his legacy with the likes of Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson-two legends who have six and five rings, respectively.

The Cavs can reach their third straight NBA Finals, and LeBron James his seventh in a row, with a win in Game 5 on Thursday night in Boston. James had 20 points and Deron Williams added 14 at the intermission.

James closed it with 15 points in the fourth, including a 3-pointer with 3:52 remaining for a 106-97 lead. He was just 21 in his first playoff game, but was well-prepared at that point to lead his teams on lengthy runs, whereas Jordan didn't get his Bulls out of the first round until he was 25.

James has three National Basketball Association titles while Jordan has six.

To accomplish this incredible feat, the Cavs had to defeat the Boston Celtics in an unpredictable five-game series. He added (via ESPN), "It has nothing to do with passing the rings, passing the points, passing MVPs".

Four Celtics notched double figures in Game 4-led by Avery Bradley, who tallied 19 points on 7-for-19 shooting. Cleveland is listed as a 10-point favorite in Game 5.

For a third consecutive year, the Cleveland Cavaliers are headed back to the NBA Finals to face off against the Golden State Warriors.

After the team returned from Boston in the wee hours Friday morning, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue didn't go to bed and immediately began working on a game plan to stifle Golden State's powerful, multi-faceted offense.

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But beyond James' foul trouble, the Cavs were having other issues as the Celtics outplayed them at both ends while opening a 16-point lead.

The Cavaliers ended the Celtics post-season - winning the game, 135-102.

James corralled the loose ball and got the put-back to fall.

Several Celtics are also fighting injuries as they try to stave off elimination.

The Celtics saw a different team emerge from the locker room in the third quarter, however, and the Wine and Gold - namely Kyrie Irving - were all business over the final 24 minutes.

Irving came out firing in the second half, and scored the Cavaliers' first 11 points. He capped his blistering 19-point outburst with a 3 in the final second of the quarter and celebrated at mid-court by pretending to put two pistols back in his holster. "We don't go into any series saying we're only going to play four games, we can't approach a series like that, like, 'Yeah, we're going to play four.' You approach it with a mindset of, 'Of course we'd love to sweep them but you have to take that game by game'".

Steve Kerr has not been on the bench for the Golden State Warriors since Game 2 of their first-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers, and according to the latest remarks from general manager Bob Myers, it doesn't appear he'll be doing so any time soon. Tip-off is set for 8:30 p.m. ET.

The Cavaliers' next three-pointer was a record setter, as James pulled up for and buried a left-wing triple, which gave him the most points in NBA Playoffs history.

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