By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The Eastern Conference finals will appear bottomward to a chief Bold 7 Sunday night in Boston.
The Celtics fell to the Cavaliers, 109-99, in Bold 6 in Cleveland Friday night on addition ballsy achievement by LeBron James. In what could be his final bold in Cleveland, James played 46 account and erupted for 46 credibility on 17-for-33 shooting. He additionally pulled bottomward 11 rebounds and dished out nine assists. It was the best achievement in an abolishment bold of LeBron’s career.
James drained a brace back-to-back threes in the final 2:15, including one as the attempt alarm articulate to put Cleveland up 107-96 with 1:40 left.
“It feels acceptable aloof to be able to comedy for addition game,” James said afterwards the victory. “Like I’ve consistently said, Bold 7 is the best two words in sports.”
Cleveland additionally got 20 credibility from bouncer George Hill and 14 credibility from Jeff Green in 31 account off the bench.
The Celtics absolutely won the aboriginal quarter, 25-20, which had been a compound for success in the series. But the Boston breach was a adversity in the additional division as the Cavaliers outscored the Celtics 34-15 in the frame. The Celtics attempt aloof 6-for-19 and a assembly of turnovers led to a 20-4 Cleveland run that Boston never recovered from.
James played all 24 account in the aboriginal bisected and exploded for 25 points, giving the Cavaliers a 54-43 advance at the break. He didn’t get his aboriginal blow until the final minute of the third quarter.
The Cleveland defense, which had been non-existent throughout the series, affected eight Boston turnovers in the aboriginal bisected and 13 all-embracing for the game, arch to 11 credibility for Cleveland.
The Cavaliers led by as abounding as 16 in the third division afore Boston was able to cut it to 10 at the end of the anatomy on a Terry Rozier three. Rozier cut it to a seven-point game, 87-80, with his sixth three of the night aboriginal in the fourth and accomplished with 28 points.
But a brace of Larry Nance Jr. put-backs never accustomed the Celtics to get closer, and James put in his own absence to accord the Cavaliers a 12-point advance with 6:32 to go. Then LeBron hit those back-to-back threes and Boston’s action was over.
“It was a acceptable game. We aloof didn’t do it abundant to get over that hump,” C’s bouncer Jaylen Brown said afterwards the loss. “We were appropriate there and we acquainted ourselves appropriate there but we had to accomplish one added play, one added rebound.”
It was a awkward bold all about for the Celtics, who looked absent on breach for ample stretches of the game. That led to some accessible breach for the Cavaliers, who out-rebounded the C’s 44-31. The Cavaliers had seven abhorrent rebounds in the final division and 15 for the game.
Boston larboard a lot of credibility on the attic throughout the game, cutting aloof 11-for-20 from the chargeless bandy line.
Brown denticulate 15 credibility in the aboriginal division and accomplished with 27 for the game, but had aloof two credibility in that abhorrent additional division for Boston. The Cavaliers double-teamed Al Horford whenever he had the brawl and about shut bottomward the C’s big man, captivation him scoreless in the aboriginal bisected and to six credibility overall.
“I’ll be bigger Sunday,” Horford said afterwards the game.
Celtics amateur Jayson Tatum struggled with Cleveland’s animality aboriginal and accomplished with aloof 15 points.
The Cavaliers fought off abolishment afterwards Kevin Love, who larboard in the aboriginal division afterwards colliding with Tatum. Love did not acknowledgment with concussion-like symptoms, and his cachet for Sunday’s Bold 7 is unknown. His abrasion led to added account for Green, which absolutely benefited the Cavaliers on Friday night.
So now the two teams will put it all on the band Sunday night for a cruise to the NBA Finals. The Celtics are 10-0 this postseason on their home court.