Boston Celtics 99 - 109 Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavs force a Game 7 with a huge home win. Lebron paced the Cavs, but he didn’t do it alone. Getting help from George Hill, Larry Nance Jr. and Jeff Green. Missed free throws killed the Celtics despite a great game from their backcourt. Boston failed to stop Lebron when it mattered most. Game 7 will be Sunday night from Boston.
Lebron Does It Again For The Cavs
In a series that the home team has won all games, it still held true. Lebron and the Cavs bounced back and after trailing in the 1st, took firm control of the game. Never letting the Celtics within 7, the Cavaliers looked like they did in games 3 and 4. Running half court sets, playing help defense and letting Lebron work against an outmatched opponent. It wasn’t the pretty ball movement the Warriors have, but it’s a grit and grind affair that takes its toll.
After losing Kevin Love early in the game, it looked like the Celtics could run away with it after taking a 5 point lead into the second half. But, the Cavs adjusted and it paid off. Playing Larry Nance Jr extended minutes, it fed new life into the Cavaliers front court. Out rebounding Boston 44 to 31, thanks to Lebron’s 11 and Nance’s 7, the Cavaliers just kept forcing Boston to rally. They finally got within striking distance when Lebron hit two big step back threes, sealing the victory. He left the game to “Cavs in 7” chants from the crowd.
As usual in elimination games, Lebron came up huge. 46 points, 11 boards and 9 assists, he was a monster tonight. Shooting 5 for 7 from deep and coming up with 3 steals, the proverbial thorn in Boston’s side. He wasn’t alone for once. George Hill added 20, attacking the rim when Lebron wasn’t, never letting the Celtics breathe. While Jeff Green chipped in 14 and Nance had 10.
This is the effort that the Cavs needed, but will it cost them game 7. With Love leaving the game and being tested for a concussion. Lebron having a scary moment late in the 4th, it might have been their last stand. Even with all this you can’t count them out. They have the best player in the world, but the home team has won every game in this series. Bad news is game 7 will be in Boston. The good news is Lebron always shines in game 7’s.
Missed free throws and turnovers were the name of the game for the Celtics. Going 11-20 for 55% with 13 turnovers is just not good enough to beat an angry Lebron. If they hit their free throws, the game goes to the wire. If they held onto the ball a few more times, the game goes to the wire. It’s really that simple because otherwise it was a good game from the Celtics. Moving the ball well, the Celtics finished with 25 assists, with 5 players finishing in double figures. Even shooting over 50% of the field. This is a game the Celtics normally win, but not tonight.
Taking a 5 point lead into the 2nd quarter, it was all downhill from there. Being outscored by 16 points in the quarter, taking an 11 point deficit into half. It never really was a game after that. The Celtics eventually cut it down to 7 multiple times, but Lebron would just push them back down. Hitting big shot after big shot, there just wasn’t ever any doubt about what the outcome was going to be after half.
Terry Rozier led the Celtics with 28 points while Jaylen Brown was right behind with 27 points. Playing a big lineup, Marcus Morris came off the bench and added 10, along with Marcus Smart. Jayson Tatum seemed under utilized after a big game 5, only scoring 15 points, but shooting 7-13 from, the field. The rotation was again a small one with Stevens basically playing 7 tonight, with 6 playing over 30 minutes each.
The Celtics young bunch looked overwhelmed by the juggernaut that is Lebron James in a big game. This is the second time that Lebron has dropped 40 and 10 in an elimination game against the Celtics, just adding to his list of teams he has single handedly killed. The Celtics are lucky that game 7 is going to be at home, but they might just be running into a buzzsaw. The young team must come back from this and be ready for a dogfight on Sunday.