The Warriors are the better team and should be favored, but this is a lot of points to give a Cavs team that will have the best player in the series and is one of maybe two teams that can shoot with Golden State.
James had come into the contest needing 28 points to pass Jordan - victor of six titles with the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s - for first on the post-season scoring list.
The Warriors are a seven-point favorite in the opener.
Golden State has an average in-game win probability of almost 72 percent during the playoffs - the same as the Cavs, despite playing a tougher set of opponents than the Cavaliers. The Giants won the Series 5-3 in the final best-of-nine matchup as a banged-up Ruth got just one plate appearance during the final three games, all won by the Giants. "It's just my personal goal to keep me motivated - that's all". The Thunder lost to Miami in five games, a series that made James a champion for the first time.
"I don't care who you're playing, to make it to the NBA Finals, to win your conference finals, it's a big task", Brown said. Just getting to that point, you know how hard it is and how much work you put in to start the season. Cleveland won the three road games in the series by a combined 90 points, the last two by a total of 77.
While this may be unprecedented in the National Basketball Association, it has happened once before in the NFL, NHL and Major League Baseball with matchups that included some of those sports' biggest stars. "But I thought we did a good job of making some adjustments in the end of the second quarter and the third quarter and the second half [in Game 4] that really helped us out".
It will mark the seventh straight trip to the Finals for James, who hit a 3-pointer late in in the third quarter to nudge past Jordan on the playoff scoring list.
3-Point Goals-Cleveland 19-41 (James 4-7, Irving 4-8, Love 3-7, Dero.Williams 2-3, Korver 2-4, Frye 2-5, Jefferson 1-3, Smith 1-3, J.Jones 0-1), Boston 11-30 (Green 3-6, Young 2-4, Bradley 2-5, Smart 2-5, Jerebko 1-2, Olynyk 1-2, Crowder 0-1, Rozier 0-5). The season ends in the first round of the playoffs for the Bulls, Clippers and Hawks.
"It's pretty cool to think that in three weeks you've got the No. 1 pick in the draft", Stevens said.
NOTES: Cleveland's 109 points through three quarters marked the most the Celtics have allowed in the shot-clock era.
The Celtics and Lakers met in the NBA Finals in six of eight years in the 1960s and in three of four in the 1980s, but never before have the same teams squared off for the NBA title in three consecutive seasons. Acting Golden State coach Mike Brown, asked about Cavs coach Tyronn Lue's comment that the Celtics are "harder" to defend that the Warriors, said, "That's his opinion". The teams observed a moment of silence for the victims of Monday's bombing in Manchester, England.