We’ve all witnessed this story before: LeBron James is back in the NBA Finals for an eight consecutive season.
King James has not lost an Eastern Conference series since 2010. In Game 7 match-ups specifically, he’s logged a shade under 35 points. It is the second Game 7 of his historic 2018 Playoffs run. The three-time Finals MVP scored exactly 35 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and dished out 9 assists to defeat the Boston Celtics with a 87-79 final score. LeBron was expected to play the entire 48 minutes, seeing as The Cavs desperately needed all they can get from the four-time MVP.
“It was asked of me tonight to play the whole game,” said James. “And I just tried to figure out how I can get through it.
This is not the first time LeBron has faced elimination in Boston. The Celtics were the final squad to eliminate a team led by James in the Eastern Conference. Since then, he has played them numerous times and come out victorious. Add this one to the list, too.
It was a close, low-scoring affair for the East and the West — definitely nothing pretty, to say the least. Both teams shot an atrocious 16-74 from three-point range, hence the score. Boston was led by Jason Tatum, who finished with 24 points. Tatum has led Boston in scoring for the majority of the 2018 Playoffs run and has stepped up in big moments. Rookie or not, Tatum has superstardom written all over him. We’re sure LeBron agrees, too.
Jeff Green stepped up in big game fashion. Green started in place of the concussion-suffering Kevin Love. He finished with 19 points and 8 rebounds.
The Cavs will await their NBA Finals opponent until the madness begins on Thursday (May 31). The Rockets and Warriors play for the Western Conference title in a special Memorial Day game tonight. The winner will have home court advantage throughout the Finals.
“We have an opportunity to play for a championship,” said James. “It doesn’t matter if we’re picked to win or not. I just like to compete.”
The Cavaliers are underdogs against both potential opponents.
Although Boston was sent defeated by one of the all-time greats, the team surprised many during their Playoffs run. Brad Stevens and the Celtics coaching staff rallied a team after losing two all-star players in Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving. Irving was set to miss the Playoffs at the end of the season, while Hayward had only played a couple of minutes during the season’s opener.
“It was pretty incredible run by an incredible group of guys and an absolute pleasure and privalege to be around them every day, said Stevens. “We obviously have a good thing going.”
LeBron has been here numerous times. He continues to demonstrate his greatness at the highest level. The Eastern Conference crown still belong to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Watch a quick recap of LeBron’s historic Game 7s run below, via ESPN: