LeBron James helped the Cavs dominate the Celtics and passed Michael Jordan as the NBA’s all-time leader in postseason points.
USA TODAY Sports
BOSTON — The Golden State Warriors can wait.
That’s how LeBron James saw it.
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.
An unprecedented Finals trilogy was finally set, and still, James had no interest or energy to engage the topic.
“I’m not in the right mind to even talk about Golden State,” James said. “It’s too stressful, and I’m not stressed right now. They’ve been the best team in our league for the last three years, and then they added an MVP. That’s all I can give you right now.”
Too much had happened in the Cavs’ 135-102 Game 5 victory over the Boston Celtics. There was almost too much historical context to dissect, and so James did what his instincts told him to do. He passed.
James had overtaken Michael Jordan as the NBA’s all-time leading playoff scorer on a deep three-pointer late in the third quarter. He finished with 35 points and had the record to himself at 5,995. Jordan was in his rearview mirror and still James deflected the attention like a kick-out to an open shooter in the corner.
“I think the first thing for me was seeing the excitement on Kyle (Korver’s) and Deron (Williams’) face,” James said. “You’ve got one guy with 12 years, first Finals appearance, and another guy 14. So that’s the first thing I picked.”
James, who earlier on Thursday suggested comparisons were only for “barbershops,” tried to sidestep the Jordan topic.
But he finally conceded in a nod to the significance of the milestone.
“I wear the number because of Mike,” James said. “I think I fell in love with the game because of Mike. When you’re growing up…