Basketball: Cavaliers' LeBron James, with rout of Hawks, again heads to NBA finals

CLEVELAND (AFP) - LeBron James advanced to his fifth-straight NBA finals, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 118-88 rout of the Atlanta Hawks and a sweep of the Eastern Conference finals.

Once again James carried the Cavaliers on his back, finishing with 23 points, nine rebounds and seven assists and then sitting on the bench and playing cheerleader for much of the final quarter of Tuesday's contest.

"We worked our tails off all season to get to this point," James said. "We have everything it takes to win. I have been there. We have grit, determination and a willingness to want to be great."

It was an impressive 4-0 series sweep for the Cavaliers and their title-starved Cleveland fans.

Cleveland advanced to their first NBA finals since James led a rough and tumble group there in 2007, when they were swept by the mighty San Antonio Spurs.

The city has not celebrated a major sports title since the Cleveland Browns won the National Football League championship in 1964.

The Cavaliers franchise has never won an NBA title.