LeBron logged all 48 minutes on Sunday (after putting in 46 minutes on Friday night) and extended one of the most incredible postseason runs in National Basketball Association history - leading both squads in scoring, rebounds and assists as he reached the Finals for his eighth straight season, ninth for his career.
In the final six minutes of the game, the Cavs outscored Boston 16-7. "It's a Game 7", James said.
"It's been a satisfaction in the fact that I like to be successful", James said when asked about his continued dominance of the Eastern Conference.
But the Celtics couldn't get 3-pointers to fall, and Cleveland slowly chipped their way back into it. James got 3-pointers from J.R. Smith and Jeff Green, and by the time halftime rolled around, Boston's lead was down to 43-39.
"He's had a lot of gaudy games, but I just think Game 7, in Boston, all the circumstances that surround Boston.to come here in a hostile environment, Game 7, Eastern Conference finals", Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. "I can't say enough good things about him".
Horford scored 14 points and Tatum had 11 in the first half for the Celtics who up until Sunday had played with more intensity and aggressiveness at home during this postseason. Now the two were sharing the same stage, and James recognized something that has Celtics fans dying for the start of training camp.
Jeff Green comes up with 19 clutch points in Game 7
Lue said of the Cavs winning without Love: "We told the guys that Kevin wasn't coming back, and they all got together and just huddled up and just came together as one, and coming into tonight, we knew he was going to be out, and we said we want to do this for Kevin".
It was the first time in the postseason he played without a substitution, surpassing his 47 minutes of playing time in an overtime win against the Toronto Raptors in Game 1 of the second round. With the rookie Tatum and second-year Jaylen Brown, Boston established itself as the team of the future in the East. That's every day. Every day that you're totally focused on this, and he's gone past that eight straight times.
But the present still belongs to James.
That lead expanded to 10 and 12 multiple times in the second quarter, and the Cavaliers started to look exhausted and defeated.
James tracked the Celtics guard from the far sideline, timing his attack. James did not run back down the court, resting up while Green drew a foul at the other end and made one free throw to give the Cavaliers their biggest lead of the game.
To put that into perspective, Rozier, Brown and Marcus Smart combined for just 21 points while shooting 8-for-42 from the field, including just 3-of-26 from three-point range. The third quarter was even worse, as Boston scored just 13 points on 5-for-20 shooting.More news: Charles Barkley thinks Boston will win Game 7
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