CHICAGO (AFP) - The Cleveland Cavaliers punched their ticket to the NBA Eastern Conference finals on Thursday but, in the West, the Los Angeles Clippers stunningly failed to get past the Houston Rockets.
Cleveland superstar LeBron James got plenty of help from his supporting cast in a 94-73 victory over the Chicago Bulls.
They completed a 4-2 triumph in their best-of-seven, second-round series, and will now face either the Atlanta Hawks or Washington Wizards for a place in the NBA finals.
In Los Angeles, the Clippers had appeared to be heading for a similar series win.
But the Rockets erased a 19-point, third-quarter deficit to shock the clippers 119-107 and force a decisive game seven back in Houston on Sunday.
There was no such drama in Chicago, despite a tough shooting night for James and a first-half injury to Kyrie Irving.
James connected on just seven of 23 attempts from the floor but still finished with 15 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds.