BOSTON — The NBA Finals has its first “three-match,” courtesy of a King who passed His Airness.
LeBron James scored 35 points and passed Michael Jordan to become the NBA’s all-time playoff scoring leader as the Cavaliers beat the Celtics 135-102 on Thursday night.
The Cavaliers claimed their third straight Eastern Conference title and another trip to the NBA Finals to meet the Warriors.
“I wear the number  because of Mike,” said James, who now has 5,995 postseason points. “I think I fell in love with the game because of Mike, just because of what he was able to accomplish.
When you’re watching Michael Jordan it’s almost like a god. So I didn’t think I could be Mike.”
Kyrie Irving added 24 points and Kevin Love finished with 15 for the Cavaliers, who never trailed and led by as many as 39 points in one of their most dominating wins of the series. The Cavaliers set an NBA record by winning their 13th consecutive series closeout opportunity.
Cleveland’s 4-1 series win gives it a 12-1 record this postseason and sets up a third-straight matchup with Western Conference champion Golden State.
The Cavaliers beat the Warriors in the Finals last season to claim the franchise’s first championship.
It also will mark the seventh straight trip to the Finals for James, who hit a 3-pointer late in the third quarter to nudge past Jordan on the playoff scoring list. He quickly flashed one finger as he backpedaled down the court.
In the postgame trophy presentation backstage, James mostly lingered in the background as his teammates celebrated.
But there’s no denying that his accolades are putting him in the orbit of Jordan, his boyhood idol.
“The biggest thing is I did it just being me, I don’t have to score the ball to make an impact on the basketball game,” James said. “That was my mindset. If I’m not scoring the ball, how can I still make an impact on the game?”
As much as this series was about James, Irving…