The Cleveland Cavaliers have certainly made their marks on NBA history and have no plans to stop any time soon. After their Game 5 win against the Celtics, the Eastern Conference champions are headed to the finals yet again. For their third consecutive year, they will face Golden State in the upcoming seven-game series.
But will they need all seven?
Although a ridiculous amount of records were set by various NBA teams over the 2016-2017 season, the most ground-breaking was James' passing of the legendary Michael Jordan for the most points scored in a playoff series.
With just under three minutes left in the fourth quarter, James passed Jordan with a 3-pointer from the left wing. He needed 28 points total to pull ahead; this shot gave him 29. James acknowledged his achievement by holding one finger in the air.
The 5,987-point record stood for 20 years following Jordan's last playoff game with the Chicago Bulls against the Utah Jazz in Game 6 of the 1998 Finals. James' shot put him ahead at 5,989, but he ultimately finished the game with a total of 35 points, setting the new record at 5,995.
The Cleveland 135-102 victory over Boston will be James' seventh consecutive attempt at the ring. James' former teammate from his time with the Miami Heat took to Twitter to congratulate the win.
Although he's still behind Jordan on the regular season scoring list, James is likely to pull ahead within the next two seasons should he maintain his scoring average of 27.1 points per game.
In a post-game interview, James noted it had been a personal goal of his to follow in Jordan's footsteps (even doting the same jersey number), and he's more excited about being able to retire on Jordan's level than being compared to him statistically.
When asked about his influence on youth in light of Jordan's "Be Like Mike" Gatorade campaign, James hopes to follow that path as well (being known as a great play-maker rather than a great scorer).
"It's been a part of the plan since I really started taking this game seriously, to say how can I get the youth to feel like passing the ball is OK, making the extra pass is OK, drawing two defenders and no matter if you win or lose, if you make the right play, it's OK. Because [...] scoring the ball is so heralded in our sport. I want the fundamentals of the game to be as great as they can be. And if some kid or a group of kids from the West Coast or the East Coast or the Midwest or the South and everything in between all around the world can look at me and say, 'Well, I made the extra pass because LeBron made the extra pass,' or 'I got a chase-down block, and I didn't give up on the play because LeBron didn't give up,' that would mean the world to me."
The Cavaliers are set to face the Warriors at Golden State on Thursday, June 1 at 8 p.m. CT.