LeBron James breaks Michael Jordan's playoff scoring record

The Celtics will need to overcome losing Isiah Thomas to a hip injury that might require surgery, and their rookie sensation Jaylen Brown is questionable with the same type of hip issue. And with a talented young roster, the No. 1 pick in next month's draft, and plenty of cap space, the Celtics should have plenty of good times ahead. They never got close.

- LeBron James passed Michael Jordan to become the NBA's all-time leading playoff scorer during the third quarter of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Cleveland's 4-1 series' win gives them a 12-1 record this postseason and sets up a third consecutive matchup with Western Conference champion Golden State, the team they beat in the Finals last season to claim the franchise's first championship.

"That's what he (Irving) does, those are the shots he takes", Cleveland head coach Tyronn Lue said about the third-quarter push. "Kyrie just goes nuts and ends us", said Stevens. "I think I fell in love with the game because of Mike, just because of what he was able to accomplish". Kevin Love averaged 22.6 points per game while shooting 53.5 percent from 3-point range.

There are so many different routes that Danny Ainge can go in, and we'll highlight a few here. "They just stayed resilient all year, got to the playoffs, and we really stepped our game up", he said. This is the first time in two decades that an National Basketball Association playoff team has headed into a home game as double-digit underdogs. He's now on 5,995 points, eight clear of Michael Jordan.

ESPN Basketball Power Index gives Boston a 56 percent chance to win Thursday's Game 5, but the Thomas-less No. 1 seed face a hard task of turning this series around.

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The Celtics have played better in Games 3 and 4, though.

The environment of Game 5 was a unusual swirl of the recent past and the longterm ahead. "It's too stressful, and I'm not stressed right now. The way he's playing, he's deserving of all the credit he's getting", Irving said before listing some of the Celtics who shone in Thomas' absence. "And those are great things and lessons for the guys that are to take forward with them". They're coming out and they're hitting us, they don't care who you are. Since March 30, they've only made four road trips, all single-city stops in Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City and San Antonio before a quick return.

"It was kind of an easy decision for me", Williams said at the time.

But the Cavaliers superstar says his pursuit is about leaving a legacy to motivate the next generation of players. There are a couple of reasons this could be happening and neither is because the Celtics are better off without Isaiah Thomas.

"If something changes and he feels better, I'll sit here or, better - he would sit here - and tell you".

Well, well, well. After all that - the salary cap boom, the year of the triple-double, James Harden's modern art, Russell Westbrook's assault on the very idea of athletic activity-as-fun - the Finals are exactly as most predicted they would be.

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