Sports

Kyrie Irving praises Celtics, Isaiah Thomas following Game 5 victory

Kyrie Irving praises Celtics, Isaiah Thomas following Game 5 victory

Led by 59 points from the duo of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, the Cleveland Cavaliers dominated play from beginning to end and clinched the Eastern Conference Finals with a resounding win over the Boston Celtics in Game 5 at TD Garden on Thursday night.

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Deron Williams (31) defends Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier.

Smart, who started in place of Thomas, said, "Everybody had to step up their game, especially with one of our brothers down".

James had come into the contest needing 28 points to pass Jordan - victor of six titles with Chicago Bulls in the 1990s - for first on the post-season scoring list.

Four players scored in double figures for Boston in the defeat on Tuesday night, but the top-seed couldn't hold on to an early 16 point lead.

The other thing that I'd say about this team is they're fully committed to getting better every day, and that's a good thing.

The Cavaliers now move on to a third consecutive National Basketball Association final, which is also the 7th in a row for James, who went to four in a row with the Miami Heat before returning to Cleveland.

Cleveland's 4-1 series win gives it a 12-1 record this postseason and sets up a third consecutive matchup with Western Conference champion Golden State, the team it beat in the Finals last season to claim the franchise's first championship.

Golden State wrapped up their series against the San Antonio Spurs with a 4-0 sweep on Monday night. "The team to get past is Cleveland, and right now we're not there".

Win it for me: Juve legend Pirlo
Dybala has thrived since Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri changed the team's formation to accommodate their attacking talents. I like to take risks. "I want to thank the fans for their support from the very start of the Champions League".

"I knew how much we needed this game and how much my teammates needed me and the importance of me leading these guys as well as 'Bron". With 2:40 left in the 3rd quarter, Lebron James hit a 3 pointer to surpass Michael Jordan as the league's career all time scoring leader in the playoffs. Kevin Love had 15 points and 11 rebounds before joining the rest of the Cavaliers starters on the bench for the fourth quarter - a familiar scene in the series.

Now it's time for the Celtics to reward their fans with an all-around effort, something they haven't done on their home floor very often this postseason (a dramatic Game 7 victory over the Wizards aside). The Cavs made sure of that on May 25 in Boston by punishing the Celtics, 135-102 to win the Eastern Conference finals four games to one. The Boston Celtics have won 13 of their last 20 home games.

The Cavaliers are up 3-1 and proved that they want to put the upset of Game 3 behind them.

But let's get back to Game 5. "We can't go back to Boston tied 2-2".

For reasons I can't explain, Love does not get enough love for how well he plays defensively. "They cause a lot of stress, and I'll get to that point when we start to prepare for them".

"They made it this far". And it was 1 versus 2.

The Celtics enter the offseason optimistic; they own the No. 1 pick in the 2017 draft, and there's potential to add another impact player on the free-agent market. "I thought we played a little too haphazard tonight".

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.


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