Cleveland Cavaliers extinguish Boston Celtics 135-102, advance to NBA Finals
The Cleveland Cavaliers pose during their trophy presentation. Photo:AP / Elise Amendola

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers closed out the series and annihilated the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals at the TD Garden.   

James Fills Stat Sheet Early

James began making his presence known early and did a bit of everything. He scored 11 points on 5-of-5 from the floor to go along with six assists, four boards, and two steals. The other two Cavaliers' stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love combined for 19 points to give their team a 43-27 lead by the end of the frame. The 43 points became a franchise high for most points in a quarter of a playoff game for the Cavaliers.     

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) attacks the rim. Photo:Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) attacks the rim.
Photo: Bob DeChiara/USA-TODAY Sports

Rejuvenated Williams Strikes

Deron Williams recorded 14 points off the bench on 5-of-6 shooting in the second frame. Williams had previously combined eight points in the first four games of the series. Meanwhile, Avery Bradley scored 14 points of his own. Most of Bradley’s offense came late in the period where he scored the last 11 points of the quarter for Boston. Cleveland continued making history and lead 75-57, setting another franchise record for most points in a half of a postseason game.

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Deron Williams (31)  defends Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier. Photo:Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Deron Williams (31) defends Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier.
Photo: Bob DeChiara/USA-TODAY Sports

James Passes Jordan on All-Time Playoff Scorer

At the 2:40 mark of the third quarter, James knocked down a three-pointer and passed Michael Jordan to become the leader for most postseason points with 5,995. He added 15 more points to his scoring column while Irving dropped 13 in the period. Cleveland led by 35 heading into the final 12 minutes of the contest.  

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) reacts during the game. Photo:Getty Images / Elsa
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) reacts during the game. Photo: Getty Images/Elsa

Celtics Win First Quarter of the Night

Boston won their first quarter of the night outscoring their opponents in the final period, 28-26. By that time, both teams emptied their benches while the starters waited for time to run out.

Boston Celtics bench looks on from the sidelines. Photo:Getty Images / Adam Glanzman
Boston Celtics bench looks on from the sidelines. Photo: Getty Images/Adam Glanzman

Top Performers

Cleveland Cavaliers

James finished with 35 points, eight assists and eight boards. Irving concluded with 24 points and seven assists while Love tallied 15 points.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James attacks the rim. Photo: Getty Images / Elsa
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James attacks the rim. Photo: Getty Images/Elsa

Boston Celtics

Bradley ended with 23 points. Gerald Green chipped in 14 points off the bench and Jae Crowder added 11 points.

Quotes

Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens looks on from the sidelines. Photo:Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens looks on from the sidelines.
Photo: Greg M. Cooper/USA-TODAY Sports

When asked about his thoughts on facing the Golden State Warriors in the finals, Irving said, “I can’t wait. I’m excited for that moment and I know we are, too.”

James also gave his thoughts on the finals and said, “Once we get to the preparation for that juggernaut, we will be locked in."

Bradley talked about the defeat in the postgame interview and stated, “This leaves a certain taste in our mouths, to get here and to not get to the championship.” He then added, “We all gave our heart every single night. Played as hard as we could. I respect all of my teammates."

After getting eliminated, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens now looks ahead to the NBA draft and said, “It’s pretty cool to think that in three weeks you’ve got the No. 1 pick in the draft."

Other Things To Note

Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas comes out to congratulate LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers after the game. Photo:Getty Images / Adam Glanzman
A class move by Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas as he comes out to congratulate LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers after the game. Photo:Getty Images/Adam Glanzman

-James will headline his seventh straight NBA Finals appearance. He has scored 30 or more points in 11 of the Cavaliers 13 games this postseason.

-Boston became the first team in playoff history to never lead during three games played at home.

-Cleveland improved to 12-1 in this year’s playoffs.

-Before tipoff, there was a moment of silence for the victims of the Manchester bombing that occurred on Monday.  

The NBA Finals

Cleveland will face off against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, marking the first time two teams meet in the finals for a third straight year.

Golden State wrapped up their series against the San Antonio Spurs with a 4-0 sweep on Monday night. They became the first team to reach the finals with a 12-0 record.

Game 1 will be at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California on Thursday, June 1 at 9:00 p.m. E.T. The entire NBA Finals will be televised on ABC.

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