No surprise: It's Cavs-Warriors in the NBA Finals, again


Last year, the two teams went a full seven games in the series.

Out since April 23, when he announced he was taking a leave of absence to address chronic pain in the wake of multiple back surgeries almost two years ago, Kerr has been a constant presence the past two weeks but not on the bench during games.

"Somebody asked me, 'Is going to the Finals three times muted because of what's going on?' Of course it is", Myers said.

"(We) went through some tough times in the regular season, but we knew we had confidence to be great, " Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. "If I'm not scoring the ball, how can I still make an impact on the game?" I hope we have that chance to make that determination.

"The Celtics" lead always felt flimsy, and Irving took a sledgehammer to it in the third quarter, nearly outscoring Boston by himself and formally putting an end to their chances with a magnificent 21-point frame.

Irving set the tone early in the third quarter as he did in Game 4 by scoring the Cavs first 10 points in the quarter as the Cavs built their lead to 35 points after three quarters and coasted from there as the starters rested the entire fourth quarter.

Still, they would like Kerr to regain health and join them in their quest for a second championship in three years.

"To be honest, I didn't do not one prep for Golden State yet because I really believe that this (Boston) team is a good team and I didn't want to look too far ahead", Lue said. The 93 points produced together by Irving, James and Love are the most they have amassed as a group and the second highest for a trio in team playoff history.

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As you can see, any title contender has a tough task - and there simply aren't enough players available via free agency or trade that can push a team into contention in one off season while also adhering to the salary cap. The Cavs wore their black jerseys in Game 7 when they clinched the title last season.

And in the third quarter, the All-Star guard had James' back again, keeping the Cavs on their collision course with the Warriors.

Just as he did in Game 3.

"It's one of those things I have no control over, it is what it is", said Brown, filling in for the ailing Steve Kerr.

The chatter about an NBA Finals' matchup of two teams with unblemished playoff records is gone, but the challenge from the Celtics has sharpened the focus of the defending champs.

The Cavaliers, who rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to beat the Warriors in last year's finals, set an National Basketball Association record in winning their 13th straight playoff series closeout game. Just six other players have made it to at least that many in a row, and they all were part of the Celtics' dynasty, which spanned the 1950s into the 1960s.