Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Cavs win big, reach Finals

LeBron James drives against the Raptors’ DeMarre Carroll during Game 6, leading the Cavs to their second straight NBA Finals.

Associated Press

LeBron James drives against the Raptors’ DeMarre Carroll during Game 6, leading the Cavs to their second straight NBA Finals.

TORONTO — LeBron James scored 33, Kevin Love had 20 points and 12 rebounds and the Cavaliers secured their second straight trip to the NBA Finals by beating the Raptors 113-87 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals on Friday night.

It's the third Finals appearance in team history for the Cavaliers. Cleveland lost to Golden State in six games last year and got swept by San Antonio in 2007.

For James, it's his sixth straight trip to the Finals, including four with Miami. The other seven players to reach at least six straight Finals were all on the Celtics teams of the '60s: Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, Sam Jones, K.C. Jones, Satch Sanders, Tommy Heinsohn and Frank Ramsay.

James finished with 11 rebounds and six assists.

The Cavaliers finished 12-2 in East playoff games, tying the best record en route to the Finals since the first round went best of seven for the second consecutive year. The 2003 Nets and 2013 Spurs also went 12-2.

Kyrie Irving had 30 points and J.R. Smith had 15 for the Cavaliers, who will face the winner of the Golden State-Oklahoma City series on June 2.

Cleveland would open at home against the Thunder but would be on the road against the 73-win Warriors, who trail 3-2 against Oklahoma City heading into tonight's Game 6.

Raptors center Bismack Biyombo would have faced a suspension if Toronto had forced a Game 7. Biyombo picked up a flagrant foul in the first quarter Friday for elbowing Love, giving him four flagrant foul points in the postseason. That would have triggered a one-game suspension.

THUNDER FOCUSED: The Thunder won't say it has to win Game 6 against the Warriors tonight to win the Western Conference final. But the alternative is less than ideal.

Win at home and Oklahoma City will advance to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2012. Lose and the Thunder will be forced to play Game 7 in Oakland. The defending champion Warriors have lost three home games all season.

Thunder coach Billy Donovan said his players don't need to get ahead of themselves worrying about results.

"We've got to play the 48 minutes," Donovan said. "That's really what it comes down to. You can get caught up in thinking about the future and what the results mean at the end of the game. But the bottom line is the result at the end of the game will happen, and what you don't want to do is be focused on the result and forget to do your job during the course of 48 minutes."

Oklahoma City has done the job at home in the series. The Thunder won Game 3 133-105, and Game 4 was a 118-94 blowout that put Golden State on the brink of elimination. The Warriors know it's going to take something special to produce a different result at the arena known as Loud City.

"It will take all of our IQ, all of our gamesmanship, and just 48 great minutes to get a win down there, considering how the last two games have gone," Warriors guard Stephen Curry said.

The Warriors saved their season with a 120-111 win Thursday in Oakland.

"Our guys have had a spectacular run here the last two years," coach Steve Kerr said. "They've loved every second of it. They don't want it to end."

Cavs win big, reach Finals 05/27/16 [Last modified: Friday, May 27, 2016 11:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Good news for Rays on Steven Souza Jr. as MRI shows 'no damage' to hip

    Blogs

    The Rays got good news today on RF Steven Souza Jr., as an MRI showed "no damage" to his left hip.

    Steven Souza Jr. #20 of the Tampa Bay Rays holds his leg after hurting himself trying to steal second base in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on July 19, 2017 in Oakland, California.
  2. Bucs raise prices for single tickets to marquee games

    Blogs

    The Bucs will have single-game tickets for 2017 home games on sale July 28, with a new wrinkle: the best games will cost more for fans.

    Bucs fans cheer Jameis Winston after a victory in their final home game of the 2016 season. Individual tickets for the Bucs' three most coveted home games (against the Patriots, Bears and Giants) will cost more in 2017.
  3. RHP Alex Cobb feeling safer as Rays make playoff push

    The Heater

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing in the fourth inning of the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Tampa Bay Rays at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Fla. on Tuesday, March 21, 2017.
  4. HomeTeam 100: Players 61-70

    Footballpreps

    Jefferson wide receiver Dontavius Smith during the game between Jefferson High School and Jesuit High School at Jesuit on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, in Tampa, Fla.
  5. A second chance at life, away from the game he loved

    The Heater

    Dylan Delso, a catcher for the Tampa Bay Rays' Gulf Coast League team, displays his scar at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Fla., on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. On June 25, 2016 Delso fell backward down a flight of stairs, suffering a nearly fatal head injury that put him in a coma for eight days. He's finally back on the baseball field after a miraculous recovery.