The Rockets host the seventh game of the West finals on Monday night. And while we won't know for weeks whether or not James' time in Cleveland will come to an end when he can opt out of his contract this summer this summer, the 4-time MVP has secured at least one more game wearing wine and gold.
With another Game 7 victory at stake, LeBron James would not sit out. "I've always said Game 7 is the best two hours in sports, so let's go have fun with it". While the Cavaliers didn't have Kevin Love to turn to Sunday night, Jeff Green would fill in. They led 25-20 after the first and sent a clear message to the Cleveland crowd. But the Boston offense was a disaster in the second quarter as the Cavaliers outscored the Celtics 34-15 in the frame. He had 13 points in the first quarter alone. Lue used his timeouts to get his star an extra few minutes of rest when he could, and James didn't warm up at halftime to conserve his energy.
Whether it was his clutch, dagger three-pointers, ability to sit out less than two minutes, or (somehow) nearly notching yet another triple-double while scoring 40-plus points for the seventh time this postseason, James continued to amaze everyone watching, both inside Quicken Loans Arena and on television. Even as the springy Rozier launched at the basket in transition, James simply rose up and smothered the attempt late in the third quarter.
Brown finished with 27 points on 11-of-18 shooting for the Celtics while point guard Terry Rozier led the team in scoring with 28 points on 10-of-16 shooting, including a 6-for-10 showing from three. He hit a layup with 57.8 seconds left, putting the game away for good.
"At the end of the day, you have to make your own history", said Jaylen Brown. "We were right there and we felt ourselves right there but we had to make one more play, one more rebound".
The Celtics have lost just one game in front of their home crowd in these playoffs.
Aron Baynes couldn't keep the Cavaliers off the boards as they finished with 15 offensive rebounds, four of which came from Nance. Although the Celtics out-scored Cleveland by one point in the second half (56-55), the Cavaliers didn't allow them to get back in the game, especially down the stretch. The Cavaliers double-teamed Al Horford whenever he had the ball and essentially shut down the C's big man, holding him scoreless in the first half and to six points overall. Limiting their impact will be among the chief goals for the Celtics heading into Sunday's Game 7 matchup. Love lasted just five minutes before leaving with a possible concussion after a collision with Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum.
There's no time to dwell on that, not with a Game 7 matchup on the horizon. His injury led to more minutes for Green, which actually benefited the Cavaliers on Friday night.
The last time James faced an elimination game in Game 6 of a conference final series against Boston?
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