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Super 8: LeBron muscles his way back to the Finals

29 May, 2018, 00:49 | Author: John Swanson
  • Cleveland Cavaliers forward Le Bron James right celebrates a basket during the second half in Game 7 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics Sunday

The excitement of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier will mean brighter nights ahead for Celtics fans, but they dropped their first home game (10-1) of the playoffs and now James heads to The Finals for an awesome eighth straight season.

BOSTON - On the top of LeBron James' hierarchy of career achievements are his three championships, the highest probably being the 2016 crown that included a 3-1 comeback over the team with the best regular-season record in history and ended a 52-year title drought for Cleveland.

Rozier shot an terrible 0-for-10 from deep, leading a futile combined 7-of-39 (18 percent) from behind the 3-point arc, which proved unsustainable against a Cleveland team grinding the most out of their possessions down the stretch. James almost had a near-triple-double in the road elimination game with 35 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists. Throughout the season we saw superstars shoulder the load carry their team, deliver game winners and come through when it counted.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Le Bron James off the court after embracing Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum following the Cavaliers' 87-79 victory in Game 7 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals Sunday
Cavs heading to NBA Finals after LeBron dominates Celtics

Inside the Cleveland Cavaliers' locker room, players celebrated their victory in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals with whoops and applause. Now that he knows he can lead a team to Game 7 of the conference finals, he'll have that much more confidence as Irving's backup next year. The Cavaliers were probably far better previous year and could only get a game from the Warriors. 'For me to be able to lead these guys is a treat'.

The importance of that wasn't lost on them Sunday night. "Does it at this level, with the pressure, with the scrutiny".

James, seeking his eighth straight trip to the Finals, comes in averaging 34.9 in Game 7s - including his 45 to help eliminate the Indiana Pacers in this year's first round. When the Celtics stumbled in the fourth quarter of Game 7 it didn't feel like a collapse though. I just know he's built for stardom; he's built for success.

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Tatum roared and chest bumped James afterwards, leading James to scowl at Tatum for several seconds at the Celtics rookie ran back down the court.

"The bigger the stage, the bigger the player", said Lue.

Jeff Green, who was stellar in relief of Love in Game 6, got the start and responded with another outstanding performance - notching 19 points on 7-for-14 shooting to go with eight boards and a blocked shot.

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"But I think Coach Lue, he feeds off it", said James. It'll be fascinating to see how that looks when he's got those elite scorers to dish to instead of Terry Rozier and Marcus Morris, as good as those two were at times during Boston's postseason run.

Though the Cavs have the NBA's best player on their roster, the team missed its All-Star power forward with the injury to Kevin Love.

Al Horford finished with 17 points and Jaylen Brown had 13 but he was just three-of-12 from the three-point line.

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