LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers advance to NBA Finals

LeBron James looked to have injured his right leg in the fourth quarter — but played on and starred

James said earlier this year that he didn't intend to play every game of the season, things just worked out that way.

And so LeBron James and the Cavaliers are headed to the NBA Finals to play either the Houston Rockets with their two superstars or the Golden State Warriors with their two-plus superstars.

James led the Cavaliers in the first half with 17 points and 10 rebounds but they trailed for much of the half in front of a crowd of 18,600 at TD Garden. "I was just hoping for the best, obviously, because I've seen so many different injuries, and watching basketball with that type of injury, someone fall into one's leg standing straight up".

"Best player in the game", Celtics coach Brad Stevens said of James. "It's a heck of a challenge".

To examine that question, ESPN brought in NBA Insiders Chris Herring, Kevin Arnovitz, Micah Adams, Kevin Pelton, and André Snellings - none of whom give the Cavs more than a 50 percent chance to advance - and asked them how a loss tonight would change James' tomorrow. In elimination games throughout his career, James has averaged 33.5 points per game. The Cavaliers are the first team since the 2008 Celtics to win multiple Game 7s to get to the Finals. The one thing we have to all understand is we're not going to play ideal.

Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said that amid all the upheaval with trades in and out, James had been a true leader. And then there's LeBron, finishing with 35 points on 12-of-24 from the field to go along with 15 rebounds and nine assists.

The real possibility that James was playing his last game in Cleveland hung over the game - and this city - in the hours leading to tip-off. He's not only done it all so that everything feels like it's been said about him, but he has done it all at such a superlative level that you run out of effective modifiers to describe his accomplishments.

Boston Celtics' Aron Baynes spent much of the game on the bench
Camera Icon Boston Celtics' Aron Baynes spent much of the game on the

That moment happened for James and the Cavs in Friday's victory.

Then his team went out and proved it. Interestingly, that was also the last time James was down 2-0 in a series in the East, which the Celtics closed out in six.

Boston's starters held their own, but none of them was able to match James when it mattered most. Also, Morris picked up three fouls and his teammates all seemed tentative as the Cavs pushed their lead to 15 at halftime. LeBron up to 20 points already and has yet to rest.

George Hill and Jeff Green combined for 34 points on 50 percent shooting.

It is not yet known whether Kevin Love will make it to game seven after the All-Star left the game following a head injury in a clash with Tatum in the first quarter. Larry Nance Jr. added 10 points and 7 rebounds.

The Celtics led by as many as 12 factors within the first half, they usually had a 51-47 lead halfway by means of the third quarter when James hit an extended 3-pointer after which Inexperienced made a Three of his personal. Limiting their impact will be among the chief goals for the Celtics heading into Sunday's Game 7 matchup.


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