CLEVELAND – Earlier within the playoffs, LeBron James mentioned, “Game 7, I always said are the two greatest words in sports.”
Game 7 it’s once more for James and the Cleveland Cavaliers who defeated the Boston Celtics 109-99 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals on Friday.
The collection finale is Sunday in Boston (Eight:30 p.m. ET, ESPN), and the house group has received each and every sport on this collection. But can the Celtics beat James in a Game 7?
James and the Cavs stored their season in an not going way – with Kevin Love sidelined with a head damage following a collision with Boston’s Jayson Tatum within the first quarter, a perfect efficiency from Cleveland’s bench and the Celtics capturing over 50% from the sector.
Boston confronted a troublesome activity – beating James and the Cavaliers at house with Cleveland’s season at the line in what can have been James’ ultimate sport in a Cavs uniform.
James, who didn’t take his first relaxation till 57.three seconds remained within the 3rd quarter, didn’t let that occur. He had 46 issues, 11 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 steals and one block and progressed to 13-Nine when his group faces removing within the playoffs. His 46 issues are a career-high in an removing sport.
It was once additionally the 26th 40-point playoff sport of James’ profession.
Maybe James’ maximum essential stat: 3 turnovers. He had dedicated 29 turnovers within the earlier 5 video games.
Cleveland trailed 30-24 with 10:12 left in the second one quarter and completed the quarter on a 30-13 run, taking a 54-43 lead into halftime. James had 17 issues, 3 rebounds and two assists all over that run and had lend a hand from Jeff Green (seven issues). The Cavs made 10 of 18 photographs, together with 3 in their six three-pointers, and Boston was once simply Four-for-17 capturing.
Cleveland driven the result in 77-61 within the 3rd quarter, and when Boston lower the Cavs’ result in unmarried digits within the fourth, the Cavs discovered a method to stay it out of achieve.
James, who was once Five-for-7 on threes, hit a three-pointer with 2:22 left within the fourth giving Cleveland a 104-94 lead and adopted it with some other 3, placing the Cavs up 107-96 with 1:40 to play. He hit a layup with 57.Eight seconds left, placing the sport away for just right.
Love takes vicious hit to go
Love neglected many of the sport after his head-to-head collision with Tatum.
The collision came about with 7:07 left within the first quarter as Tatum attempted to get via a display screen. It didn’t seem like both participant noticed the opposite.
Love fell to the bottom, and the Cavs fouled Boston to forestall the sport at 6:58. Love went to the bench, sat down after which went to the locker room with a Cavs instructor. Green changed Love within the lineup.
Cleveland normal supervisor Koby Altman additionally went to the locker room to test on Love, who was once sideline with a concussion all over the 2016 NBA Finals and overdue this season.
Cavs’ function gamers come via
Cleveland’s bench blended for 36 essential issues with Love out – 14 issues from Green, 10 from Larry Nance Jr. and 6 issues every from Kyle Korver and Jordan Clarkson.
Starting level guard George Hill contributed 20 issues.
Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier carried Celtics
Rozier had 28 issues and 7 assists and Brown scored 27. It was once a perfect efficiency from Boston’s backcourt, however Al Horford had simply six issues on 2-for-Eight capturing. He had 9 rebounds and 4 assists however the Celtics had been outscored by way of 14 issues with him at the courtroom.
Aron Baynes, who was once a think about Boston’s Game Five victory, was once a non-factor in Game 6 – scoreless with 4 rebounds and two assists.
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Jeff Zillgitt on Twitter @JeffZillgitt