Irving, James lead the way as Cavs down Celtics


"I'm going to be honest". For the third straight year they'll face the Warriors for the crown. "They can not. We can not go to Boston 2-2 and then it becomes nearly an even series". But as disappointed as the players and coaches are inow, there's definite excitement about this franchise in the very near future.

Next up for Thompson is Irving, who has hit game-winning shots in each of the last two times Cleveland has beaten the Warriors, a 3-pointer in Game 7 of the 2015 Finals and a midrange fadeaway jumper last Christmas Day at Quicken Loans Arena.

"We had really good athletes, quick guys that make things tough on people, guarding him, and he was able to raise up and make a lot of tough shots", said Stevens. "He's doing a lot more movement, which makes it even tougher to guard after being one of the tougher scorers I've ever seen". (When Shaquille O'Neal was asked before the Finals to predict a victor, he said he had to watch "the first two games first.") The 7th game - if necessary - is slated for June 18. After it went the distance previous year, nothing should be ruled out between these two teams. Perhaps the best example: Early in the third quarter of Game 3 in Portland, with the Warriors down 16 points, Brown subbed in Andre Iguodala for Zaza Pachulia.

The Warriors have only gotten better this season, and game-planning - never mind actually playing against them - will be exhausting for the Cavs. The two-time MVP told Kyle Boone of CBS Sports that Golden State wants to try and put the clamps on how much fun the Cavaliers have when they play. After turning the ball over just three times in the first half, they coughed it up nine times in the final 24 minutes. The Cavs righted the ship, however, in Game 4 as they topped the Celtics 112-99. Cleveland won by one on Christmas Day, Golden State prevailed by 35 on January 16. The Warriors are 7-point favorites at Westgate.

LeBron James called the Warriors a "juggernaut", and Green said "there's always a mutual respect".

Lue insists he has tried to pay up — time and time again, to no avail. In the five-game Eastern Conference Finals against Boston, Irving averaged 25.8 points per game, while shooting 62.2 percent.

Brown acknowledged he can not recall any other details such as how many shots each man made, saying: "I don't even remember, that was back when I was in shape and a good shooter". Everyone knew they'd be back though. So I think on both sides, they're kind of looking and watching and trying to outdo each other. "Two great teams, great players, and that's what it is".

I like what Kerr said this season about how it's in Curry's job description as this team's point guard to figure out how to integrate Durant's talents. It wasn't given to us.

Things didn't go smoothly, but the Heat looked impressive in the playoffs, including knocking off the #1 seed Chicago Bulls in 5 games.