Kobe Bryant Weighs-in on Michael Jordan vs LeBron James Debate

That was especially true after the Cavs needed seven games and an epic 43-point Game 7 performance by James to beat IN in the first round.

After a lackluster season for the Cavaliers, leading to a lower-than-usual seed in the playoffs, many believed that the team may not make it to the National Basketball Association finals, marking the first time in eight years that James would miss out. Tatum's 3-pointer after a James turnover put Boston back out front 72-71 with 6:04 to play.

But ultimately Boston's very bad 3-point shooting (7-of-39) and 29-percent second-half shooting did the team in. For good measure, he gave James (who finished with 35 points in Cleveland's win) a chest bump and a stare as he skipped up the floor.

A tired LeBron James rallied his team in Game 7 with what was almost a triple-double - 35 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists.

The Cavaliers will open the NBA Finals on Thursday on the road against either the Golden State Warriors or Houston Rockets. The Cavaliers were probably far better past year and could only get a game from the Warriors. He declined to compare the energy he has used this season to prior ones, but it is obvious that putting this particular team on his back has been draining.

Before Friday night's game, Cleveland coach Ty Lue told his team (and others), "Three, three, three", meaning their season had either three hours, three days or three weeks remaining. But they cashed in on their brilliant defensive effort on Sunday - holding the Celtics to 34 percent shooting, including 17 percent from beyond the arc. It's ridiculous, and he does it at this level and with the pressure, with the scrutiny - doesn't matter.

How to Watch Cavs Celtics Game 7 Live Stream Online

"It was asked of me tonight to play the whole game, and I just tried to figure out how I could get through it", said James, who played 48 minutes for the first time in a playoff game since 2006 as a 21-year-old against the Detroit Pistons. It would have been the most 2018 Celtics thing to 2018 Celtics.

"I just love everything about the kid - the way he plays the game, his demeanor, where he comes from", James said after Cleveland's 87-79 victory. A Game 7 loss to the Boston Celtics playing without both Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward might have made his decision easier.

But starting in place of concussion-sidelined Kevin Love, Green had 19 points and 8 rebounds giving the Cavs a much-needed lift. If he's just at home chilling or somewhere not important, to me, that's a problem.

"I don't think he wanted to be seen in public and ruin his movie career", Ainge joked. Rozier, meanwhile, went just 2-for-14, and failed to connect on any of his 10 three-point attempts.

Jayson Tatum has had a phenomenal rookie season and if he can lead the Celtics to the NBA Finals it would be the finishing touch on his masterpiece of a year.

  • Julie Sanders