Cavs Advance to Their Third Consecutive Finals

LeBron James looks to attack against Terry Rozier

The Cleveland Cavaliers, fueled by another milestone night for LeBron James, powered into a third straight NBA Finals meeting with the Golden State Warriors with a dominant 135-102 win over the Celtics in Boston on Thursday.

He has scored 955 of those points against Boston, the most for any player against any team.

"This is what everybody has been waiting for, this is what we have been talking about and writing about and now it's coming to fruition", Bob Dorfman, creative director of Baker Street Advertising in San Francisco, told Reuters. Bowman recalled with a grin. How will Golden State guard Kyrie Irving? Our goals were set at the beginning of the season, and thats to win a championship. Substitute Deron Williams also scored 14 points. It's really that simple. Their consolation prize is, they won the NBA Draft Lottery and will have the number one pick on June 22 and a shot to select their LeBron James.

Defense has been the question for the Cavaliers all season.

For the record, I picked Cleveland at the start of the season primarily for two reasons. They also had the surprising loss to the Boston Celtics where they blew a huge lead and James finished with just 11 points.

There will be no love lost between these teams, especially after Green, whose Game Five suspension in the 2016 Finals was considered by many to be the turning point, said last November he wanted to "destroy" and "annihilate" the Cavs in a championship rematch.

James has probably never been better than he is now. The Cavaliers can let this sink in for a day or two before getting back to work to prepare for the Warriors. And what did the superstar that put them in that 3-1 hole decide to do?

Both the Cavaliers and Warriors have upgraded their rosters from a year ago, when they went seven games in an epic series that spawned the first comeback from a 3-1 deficit in Finals history and resulted in Cleveland winning its first pro sports championship since 1964. They looked well on their way to a third straight sweep of their own before a very lethargic game three. The Lions won the first two and the Browns took the third. "We're in the NBA Finals".

"Just how tough and determined the guy is, to be able to go through the situation he was going through on a day-to-day basis, still being focused and maintaining his focus for the team, you know, family is everything".

Except those Warriors aren't these Warriors.

Durant is the difference. The Durant-Curry combination - along with Klay Thompson and Draymond Green - took some time to find a rhythm, which was interrupted by Durant's late season injury. There isn't a general manager alive who wouldn't swap Bogut and Harrison Barnes for Durant, Zaza Pachulia and JaVale McGee, which is essentially what the Warriors did. There's no way Durant will get held to those sort of numbers.

He said that if he's unable to return for Game 1, he expects that a final decision on his status would be made shortly after.

All that said, Las Vegas oddsmakers have Golden State the heavy favorites (those odds are a reflection of what the betting public thinks).

They haven't blinked. They're 27-1 in their last 28 games.