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Celtics overpower Cavs, Mavs edge closer after beating Thunder

LOS ANGELES: The Boston Celtics overpowered the Cleveland Cavaliers 113-98 to reach a third straight Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday as Western Conference top seeds Oklahoma City moved to the brink of elimination after crashing 104-92 at home to Dallas.

In Boston, Jayson Tatum's 25 points helped the Celtics subdue an injury-hit Cavs line-up to complete a 4-1 win in the best-of-seven series.

The Eastern Conference No 1 seeds will face either the Indiana Pacers or the New York Knicks for a place in the NBA Finals.

But while Boston continued their progress, Oklahoma City's playoff campaign is hanging by a thread after their damaging defeat to Dallas.

Mavericks star Luka Doncic led from the front with a triple-double, finishing with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists.

The Mavs lead the series 3-2 and can clinch a place in the Western Conference finals with victory in game six back in Dallas on Saturday.

"We just got one more to win out of two games, and that's it," Doncic said. "It's 3-2, but that's nothing. We've got to finish it and go with the same mentality."

Doncic had been furious after the Mavs surrendered the initiative in a game-four loss in Texas on Sunday, but said a more relaxed approach had been the key to Wednesday's commanding effort.

"Sometimes I forget that I love to play basketball, it's the thing I do," Doncic said. "My mental focus was just to go out there with a smile on my face and play basketball."

Doncic was given offensive support from Derrick Jones Jr with 19 points while three other players made double figures.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder scorers with 30 points, eight assists and six rebounds.

Earlier, Cleveland's hopes of clawing their way back into their series with Boston were rocked

Read more on channelnewsasia.com