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Celtics outlast Cavaliers in instant classic

If the Eastern Conference finals are as good as Wednesday night’s Cavaliers-Celtics clash, we’re in for a treat come late May.

The Celtics prevailed at home 103-99 in a contest that is as thrilling as its gets in the NBA’s regular season. There were six ties and 10 lead changes in the fourth quarter.

While Boston (39-22) is not likely to pass Cleveland (41-18) for the No. 1 seed in the East, Wednesday’s gutty performance indicates the Celts will at least be a game opponent for the defending NBA champions. Listed at odds of 1/5 to win the East in Las Vegas, the Cavs have already been penciled in by league observers as the conference’s representatives in the NBA Finals.

LeBron James, who has led his team to the NBA Finals five seasons in a row (the Heat three times, the Cavs twice), logged 28 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for his seventh triple-double of the season and 49th of his career.

An 11th assist would have been enough for Cleveland to win the game, but Derrick Williams missed a 3-point attempt with about four seconds left on the clock after receiving a cross-court pass from James, who passed out of an Isaiah Thomas-Jae Crowder double team.

“Our focus has always been internal, man,” Cavs point guard Kyrie Irving said. “What we Cheap NFL Jerseys China have to fix internally. No disrespect to any other team in the league, but when we’re playing at Best Place For Cheap Jerseys a high level and we’re all focused and dialed in, we’re a tough team to beat.”

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