LeBron James has earned a spot in his eighth consecutive NBA finals after leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a thrilling series victory over the Boston Celtics.

A nail-biting deciding game of the Eastern Conference finals saw the Celtics blow an early lead as James surged ahead on his way to 35 points.

The Cavs recorded an 87-79 win to send them through to their fourth straight NBA finals.

Before half-time, Boston had been in the driving seat, and were ahead by 10 points early in the second quarter thanks to impressive performances by Al Horford and Jayson Tatum.

But the Cavs rallied in the second half, with the scoreline finely balanced and the lead changing hands several times over the rest of the match.

With six minutes left on the clock, the Celtics were ahead at 72-71 - but the Cavs scored 15 of the next 17 points to pull ahead and secure the win.

As well as his 35 points, James finished with 15 rebounds and nine assists, while Jeff Green, who made his first start since the opening game of the first round against Indiana, recorded 19 points and eight rebounds.

Tatum scored 24 for Boston, who had been bidding to make the NBA finals for the first time since 2010, while Horford added 17.

The Cavs will now face either the Houston Rockets or the Golden State Warriors. The Rockets host a deciding game seven of the Western Conference finals on Monday night.