Basketball

Lebron fires Cavs into NBA Finals

The Cleveland Cavaliers, fuelled by another milestone night for LeBron James, powered into a third straight NBA Finals meeting with the Golden State Warriors, following a dominant 135-102 win over the Celtics in Boston yesterday morning (Singapore time).

"King" James surpassed NBA icon Michael Jordan as the league's all-time leading play-off scorer.

He finished the game with 35 points, booking his seventh straight Finals appearance as the reigning champions Cavs wrapped up a 4-1 victory over the Celtics in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals.

For the third straight year, they'll face the Warriors for the crown.

"We all need to soak this up. This is a great moment, and this is not promised," James said.

The Warriors, who beat Cleveland for the title in 2015, swept the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals and host Game One of the Finals in Oakland on Friday morning.

Cleveland jumped to a quick 14-5 lead and were up by 43-27 after the first quarter - posting a franchise record for points in a quarter of a play-off game.

Cleveland's 75 first-half points were the most in an NBA play-off game half since 2003 and gave them an 18-point cushion.

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

He did it with a three-pointer late in the third quarter - the first of a string of three straight from beyond the arc. Besides leading all scorers, he had eight assists and eight rebounds.

He had taken his post-season career points total to 5,995 by the time he took a seat for the entire fourth quarter - along with the rest of Cleveland's starters.

Kyrie Irving - who scored 42 points in Cleveland's Game-Four victory - added 24 points and Kevin Love contributed 15.

- AFP

NBA