Cavs beat Celtics to earn NBA Finals rematch with Warriors

At the 6:46 mark of the second quarter in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, LeBron James committed an offensive foul.

"We played as well as we've played in all of the playoffs in that first half", Boston coach Brad Stevens said.

Irving dropped 42 points on Boston on 15-of-22 shooting in the 112-99 win. It has put everyone in a bad mood, including Kevin Durant, who flatly told people to stop watching if they didn't like the games (then apologized, for some reason).

Still, James has a few times positioned his team as the underdogs, dubbing them "the best team in our league for the last three years".

When the Cleveland Cavaliers carried out an utter dismantling of the Boston Celtics on the road in Games 1 and 2 of the Eastern Conference finals by a total of 57 points, including a ridiculous 130-86 thrashing in Game 2, it seemed that playing Game 3 and 4 in Cleveland was a mere formality. Cleveland can close out the series in Game 5 on Thursday at TD Garden in Boston. "Two great teams, great players, and that's what it is".

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In fact, those games should be easy to remember because they are so rare.

"The plan is to play until 40, and they know that. He was incredible, especially at the end of the third quarter".

Irving scored 19 of Cleveland's final 21 points in the quarter, including a long three-pointer just before the buzzer. At the end of the third quarter he dribbled the clock down to almost zero, then casually hit a step-back 3-pointer that was so far out on the floor it almost called Uber. Irving, who shook off a Game 4 twisted ankle, was 9 of 15 from the floor and 4 of 8 from 3-point range.

While the two teams split the first two matchups, that isn't the case for numerous past rematches.

That was surely the moment when the Celtic knew they were getting Big Three'd.

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For a night, Irving, who is as good as any guard in the league today, was as good as any guard who has ever played the game.

After allowing the Celtics to seize the early momentum in Game 4, the Cavs barely gave them the chance in Game 5.

That won't happen, but the Celtics can still make the Cavs work hard for another game or two.

While LeBron James and the Cavs enter the Finals as the defending champs, they are also going to be a heavy underdog and the chart below shows just how much better the Warriors have been.

Somewhere the Warriors are smiling.

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