The Cleveland Cavaliers were less than two hours removed from clinching their third straight Eastern Conference crown and James' seventh consecutive trip to the NBA Finals. Although the Celtics won the next game without him, Cleveland went on to win the series in five games.
"It made me look back to see how fast everything can be taken away from me", Thomas said. It always was going to be Warriors-Cavaliers, and the only potential pitfall was injury.
Avery Bradley led the Celtics with 23 points, and Gerald Green scored 14. Their point differential is +16.3 in these playoffs, which is simply insane.
After both teams rampaged through their respective competition en route to a third straight NBA Finals matchup, Vegas has the Golden State Warriors as heavy favorites to win it all for the second year in a row.
Irving kept the game close until halftime with 12 points.
James needed 28 points heading into the game to surpass Jordan, who had 5,987 points, and he reached the magic number late in the third quarter with a three-point jump shot.
Following an epic seven-game series last June and the now infamous blown 3-1 Golden State lead, tensions are high between the two league powerhouses. "We want to go take back a championship, that's just the nature of a competitor and I think that's the mindset of everyone in this organization to go take back what they took from us". James briefly celebrated breaking the record by raising his right index finger to signal No. 1 as he headed down the court while the game continued. "I think I fell in love with the game because of Mike. That's all I can give you right now".
After the Cavaliers won the title in 2016, the focus turned to a player who wasn't in the NBA Finals: Kevin Durant, who was entering free agency after his team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, had blown a 3-1 lead against the Warriors in the Western Conference finals. The Cavaliers are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings and the under is 4-1-1 in the last 6 meetings. He also sustained a strained left thigh in the third quarter but returned to the game. In the second half, they shot 27 of 38 (71.1 percent) from the field.
Thomas said there is not a timetable until more tests can be run, but he has full confidence knowing Celtics coach Brad Stevens and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge will keep in mind the best path to his long-term health. He then turned and threw the ideal outlet pass to LeBron, who had worked his way behind the Celtics defenders at the other end of the court. Isaiah (Thomas) goes down and they're running a totally different offense than we prepared for so it's been tough on us. Like, am I the reason that they're not that good (laughs). Offensively, I thought we moved and cut and played together, and then for whatever reason, all those things became a little bit more hard. I can't play for every team, so the truth of the matter is I left one team. They're going to challenge us a lot, offensively, defensively, mentally, physically.
"We don't know if he needs surgery or what kind of surgery, or if that is a choice. Those two guys were incredible".
"No, that time will come", said Thomas.